As part of outreach to discuss questions and mutual concerns related to registration and operation of INGOs in Pakistan, the Foreign Secretary had a detailed interaction yesterday with Islamabad-based envoys. Senior representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior and EAD also attended.
Outlining Pakistan’s approach and policy, the Foreign Secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to a mutually beneficial framework on INGOs, underpinned by rule of law, transparency and responsive to nationally determined development priorities. The Foreign Secretary further noted that the policy framework was guided by Pakistan’s national context, circumstances, needs and priorities.
The Foreign Secretary recalled that the decisions on cancellation of registration and closure were in full accord with the standards of due process, noting that the right of appeal and opportunities to discuss mutual concerns were provided to the INGOs.
Responding to concerns over potential impact of cancellation decisions on the people of Pakistan, the Foreign Secretary underscored that 74 INGOs were operating freely in the country and contributing in several areas of priority to Pakistan. Regarding suggestions for flexibility and periodic review, it was highlighted that the inter-agency mechanism had further delineated the scope of activities that are responsive to Pakistan’s national development priorities. She encouraged the INGOs and donor Governments to work in these activities i.e. poverty alleviation, health, vocational education and training, science and technology, environmental protection, disaster management, sports and culture.
The envoys expressed appreciation for the open dialogue and constructive spirit to discuss mutual concerns. Both sides agreed to remain engaged with a view to improved communications and finding ways to addressing concerns.
16 January 2019