Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that a new policy for the registration of Non-Government Organisations (NGO) has been prepared, which is based on three parts and is meant to promote their welfare activities.
He said that INGOs will not be allowed to operate without prior approval and security clearance obtained from the government. He said that registration of international NGOs will take place online, as would the registration of visas, passports and Computerised National Identity Cards (NICs). The Ministry of Interior has come out with a comprehensive overhaul of the registration of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs). It is a good omen that ministry has introduced fresh mechanisms to regulate and keep an eye on their affairs. Although ministry was given mandate three years before to register and regulate NGOs but it took way too long to do the required job. All international NGOs have been given sixty day timeline in which they are supposed to register online; ministry would take 60 more days to scrutinize the applications to decide list of approved INGOs. Successful INGOs and government will sign a memorandum of understanding which would draw the limits on functions of INGOs. Officials of government would be able to do financial audits to keep track of funding and expenditure of the INGOs. In case of violation of the MoU and deviance from the stated area of operations will result in cancellation of registration.
Decision of government to regularize INGOs is need of time as it is necessary to stop money laundering, terrorist financing, weapons smuggling, anti-state activities or maintenance of links with proscribed organisations on the part of the INGOs. Non profit organizations which are working for the welfare of the masses must not have any reservation over the steps taken by the government.
Decision of Interior Ministry to monitor the functioning of INGOs is a laudable step.