Connect with us

Featured

Islamabad “Kicks-Out” US, British Spies Working in Pakistan as Charity Organisations

Published

on

Pakistan has decided to “kick-out” as many as eighteen international charity organizations, primarily American and European, after rejecting their final appeal to stay in the country. Experts stated that this step could affect millions of Pakistanis people living in abject conditions, while Islamabad sees them “spies in disguise”.

The majority of the shuttered aid groups are U.S.-based, while the rest are from Britain and the European Union, according to a government list seen by The Associated Press. Another 20 groups are at risk of also being expelled after authorities a few months ago singled out some 38 international aid groups for closure, without any explanation.

The development is the latest in a systematic crackdown on international organizations in Pakistan, with authorities using every bureaucratic excuse, such as discrepancies in visa and registration documentation, to target the organizations.

There is also a perception in Islamabad that the United States and European countries have secretly brought spies into Pakistan under the guise of aid workers. On Thursday, Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari tweeted that the 18 were asked to leave for spreading disinformation. “They must leave. They need to work within their stated intent which these 18 didn’t do,” she said.

Umair Hasan, spokesman for the Pakistan Humanitarian Foundation — an umbrella representing 15 of the charities — said those charities alone help 11 million poor Pakistanis and contribute more than $130 million in assistance.

“No organization has been given a clear reason for the denial of its registration renewal applications,” Hasan said. Pakistan and its security forces are still stinging from a 2011 covert operation that involved a Pakistani doctor, an aid group and a vaccination scam to identify Osama bin Laden’s home, aiding U.S. Navy Seals who tracked and later killed him.

Islamabad says the United States never notified it of the daring nighttime raid in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad — just a few miles from Pakistan’s top military academy — in advance and that the mission that nabbed bin Laden invaded its sovereignty.

Many believe the sweeping crackdown on aid groups is the fallout from the CIA sting operation in which Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi, posing as an international aid worker, used a fake hepatitis vaccination program to try to get DNA samples from bin Laden’s family as a means of pinpointing his location.

Afridi was subsequently arrested and remains in jail in northwestern Pakistan. Washington has repeatedly demanded his release. The crackdown “simply marks the latest chapter in an ongoing effort to push back against foreign NGOs in Pakistan,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Programs at the Washington-based Wilson Center. “It’s hard to overstate the significance of the hunt for bin Laden and the impact it had on Pakistani perceptions of foreign NGOs.”

Hasan said the 18 expelled groups, with the exception of two that are still in court trying to overturn their ouster, have closed their operations in Pakistan. The groups provided everything from education to health care to sanitary and clean water facilities, he said. Many worked in partnership with provincial governments, often supplementing meagre development budgets.

Now local officials are being “told not to work with these” groups, added Hasan. “Government people up front will tell you they see the value of their work, but the decision has been taken.” Military spokesman Gen. Asif Ghafoor denies any link between the closures of aid groups and the bin Laden operation, insisting they simply did not meet the criteria, though many had operated for decades in Pakistan. Among the US-based organizations are World Vision, Plan International and Catholic Relief Services.

More News at EurAsian Times

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

FEATURED

INDIA-CHINA INDIA-CHINA
Expert Reviews51 mins ago

‘Hot Winters’ Ahead – China Says PLA Needs To Teach A Harsh Lesson To ‘Insincere’ India – Analysis

The portents of war between China and India seem to be getting more and more darker by every passing day....

SAAB-GRIPEN SAAB-GRIPEN
Featured7 hours ago

SAAB Delivers Gripen-E Jets To Brazil; Offers ‘Exceptional Deal’ To The Indian Air Force

With India’s new FDI model under the new indigenization drive, SAAB has seen it as a lucrative offer and is...

F-35-INDIA F-35-INDIA
Europe8 hours ago

After Rafale Jets, This Air Force Wants Stealth F-35s That Was Once Meant For Turkey?

While some recent reports indicated that with the arrival of F-35s, UAE cold shed some of its F-16s and sell...

j20-vs-tejas j20-vs-tejas
Asia Pacific9 hours ago

Taiwanese Expert Says ‘Bathrooms Best Place To Hide’ During Chinese Air Raids, Missile Attack

As tensions between China and Taiwan are only increasing day by day, former Ministry of Defense advisor Sung Chao-wen on...

SU-30-MKI SU-30-MKI
Featured12 hours ago

Indian SU-30 MKI Jets Loaded With BrahMos Missiles Practice Hitting Chinese Assets Far Away From Ladakh

Soaring tensions between India and China in Ladakh has seen both the sides deploying thousands of troops, heavy artillery and...

China-and-India China-and-India
Asia Pacific12 hours ago

India-China War Highly Unlikely; Beijing Only Testing Indian Resilience – Experts

India-China War: The joint statement following the meeting said that ministers had a “frank and constructive discussion on the developments...

imran-khan imran-khan
Featured13 hours ago

India, Pakistan Clash At UNGA – Indian Diplomat Walks Out As Imran Khan Goes All-Out Over Kashmir

India strongly reacted to Pakistan PM Imran Khan's speech at UNGA calling it a 'diplomatic low'. India's envoy to the...

J-10VSF-16 J-10VSF-16
Featured22 hours ago

Next US Intervention In Taiwan & There Would Be No Taiwan – China

Amid suggestions for the United States to deploy its troops to Taiwan, Chinese military experts have warned that any such...

JARED-KUSHNER JARED-KUSHNER
Americas22 hours ago

Donald Trump Or Jared Kushner: Why Son-In-Law Kushner Is A Deserving Candidate For The Nobel Peace Prize Over Trump?

Having brokered the historic normalisation accord between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, US President Donald Trump has been...

SU-30 SU-30
Featured1 day ago

Despite Rafale Jets, Why Su-30s Will Remain The Most Powerful Fighters In The Whole Of Asia?

Russia has won many hearts in India and China with its Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets, however, owing to the massive...

Advertisement