Pakistan orders Save the Children to leave country
Pakistan has ordered the charity Save the Children to leave the country, with an official accusing the NGO of “anti-Pakistan” activities. Police have sealed off their offices in Islamabad and foreign staff given 15 days to leave the country.
Save the Children said it “strongly objected” to the action. Pakistan has previously linked the charity to the fake vaccination programme used by the CIA to track down Osama Bin Laden.
The charity has always denied being involved with the CIA or Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, who carried out the programme. The Pakistani government has not given a formal announcement explaining the decision.
But one official told the AFP news agency: “Their activities were being monitored since a long time. They were doing something which was against Pakistan’s interest.” Condemning the move, Save the Children said it was “raising our serious concerns at the highest levels”, adding that its workers were all Pakistani nationals. It comes after the Pakistani government announced it was tightening the rules for NGOs, revoking several of their licences.