Pakistan closes 27 NGOs in what activists see as widening crackdown
Pakistan has ordered 27 international aid groups to shut down for working in unauthorised areas, spurring human rights campaigners to denounce swelling constraints on free speech and humanitarian work.
The Ministry of Interior gave the 27 NGOs 90 days to conclude operations, according to a list seen by Reuters. Among those being expelled are Action Aid, World Vision, Plan International, Trocaire, Pathfinder International, Danish Refugee Council, George Soros' Open Society Foundations, Oxfam Novib, and Marie Stopes.
Talal Chaudhry, Pakistan's Minister of State for Interior Affairs, told Reuters the reason for shutting down the NGOs was because they were doing work in Pakistan "which is beyond their mandate and for which they have no legal justification".
"They must be having reasons for every (NGO) and those reasons should have been shared with the organisations," said a representative from one NGO who declined to be identified. (Reuters)
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