Published On: Sat, Jun 13th, 2015

‘Save the Children’ charity can’t save themselves in Pakistan


Yes, the title is right, a charity called ‘Save the Children’ can’t even save themselves because they are now being accused of breaching national interest and security as “working against the country” , some police and government officials say. Now, the Pakistani government decides to kick them out.

Government officials accompanied by police arrived at the charity’s office in the heart of the capital Islamabad on Thursday after working hours and placed a lock on the compound gate.
“We have sealed the office of Save the Children on government instructions,” Kamran Cheema, a senior government official, told the AFP news agency.

“We don’t know the reasons behind this order. We were sent a three-line notification by the interior ministry saying that this office should be sealed and all the expatriate staff be sent back to their countries within 15 days.”
The government has not made any public annoucement or statement but an official was quoted as accusing the charity of doing “anti-Pakistan activities”.

“Their activities were being monitored since a long time. They were doing something which was against Pakistan’s interest,” said the official without giving his name because he was not authorised to speak to the media.



Save the Children has worked in over 60 districts in Pakistan as shown in map

A spokesperson for Save the Children confirmed in a statement that its office had been sealed off without warning.

“Save the Children was not served any notice to this effect. We strongly object to this action and are raising our serious concerns at the highest levels,” the spokesperson said.

Spokesperson continues as saying,

“Save the Children has worked in Pakistan for more than 35 years and we currently have 1,200 [Pakistani] staff members working across the nation. All our work is designed and delivered in close collaboration with the government ministries across the country, and aims to strengthen public service delivery systems in health, nutrition, education and child welfare.” 

The reason for all of this mayhem is due to the fact that in 2012 a Pakistan intelligence report linked the aid group to Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi who was allegedly used by the CIA to carry out a fake vaccination programme as they searched for bin Laden.

The charity’s expatriate staff were forced to leave Pakistan after the accusations emerged.
Save the Children has always denied it had any links with Afridi or the CIA.


Source: Al Jazeera news.

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