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Court seeks data of international NGOs

Bureau Report 2017-06-08
PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Wednesday directed the federal government to provide data of all the international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) functional in the country and to explain under which laws those organisations were working.

The bench comprising Justice Roohul Amin Khan Chamkani and Justice Ijaz Anwar issued the directives in a writ petition filed by a known NGO, Paiman Alumni Trust, challenging the non-issuance of no objection certificate (NOC) to it by the government to work in Fata and also banningitinKhyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

The bench fixed June 26 for next hearing, directing a deputy attorney general Asghar Khan Kundi to ask ministry of interior to submit the relevant data of all international NGOs in the country.

The DAG suggested thatexplanation may be sought from the ministry of defence.

However, the bench observed that as NGOs had been functioning under the ministry of interior, therefore, it would be appropriate to seek details f rom it.

A representative of Fata Disaster Management Authority said that as security clearance was not given by the relevant agencies, therefore, NOC was not given to the petitioner.

Advocate Abdul Lateef Afridi appeared for the petitioner and contended that the NGO had completed several projects in the country including Fata related to eradicating injustice, poverty, disharmony and conflict from the society.

He stated that the petitioner had launched around 83 projects in allfour provinces and Fata. He added that 67 of those projects had been concluded including 20 in sensitive areas of Fata.

The counsel stated that no reason was given for denial of NOC to the NGO except citing aletter from the headquarters of 11 Corps. Later on, he added, the petitioner addressed a letter to ACS Fata on April 15, 2016, and subsequently another letter on April 22, 2016, to the Fata Secretariat asking them to prove reason as to why it was not being issued the NOC. However, he added, no reply was given.

He stated during same period petitioner was informed through its local ofhces that Paiman had been banned to operate in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He added that through aletterissued by provincial home department on April 18, 2016, which was neither shared with the petitioner nor addressed to it, the government had ordered to ban activities of Paiman in all districts.

Within few days, the counsel said, nine offices of the petitioner having 250 staffers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata were closed. He stated that in similar manner the Punjab government had issued letter on June 27, 2016, to ban activities of the petitioner organisation.