Role of INGOs
Reema Shaukat


SOMETIMES in developing countries, governments require the services of non-profit or non-governmental organizations to outreach masses and address the specific issues. These Non-governmental Organizations or NGOs play an important role in the social uplift and economic growth of developing countries. Their main task is to provide support to society through welfare works and help the community in developing a required sustainable system. The prime goal by NGOs is to fill in those gaps in providing services that are not undertaken by government or private sector and hence play their constructive role in rebuilding any society. NGO work or activities are not limited towards social, environmental, human rights issues or advocacy but the social sciences emphasize their importance in enhancing social integration, implementation of goals, building civil society, social dialogue and participatory democracy.

Likewise NGOs play a critical role in any society by educating communities, endorsing citizen input and can greatly influence social or political change in any particular group of folks. On the other hand there are some NGOs which operate at international level and have many working units in different countries and they play their role in augmenting social amalgamation, developed objectives and partaking democracy. International NGOs rely largely on their donations to carry on their work however, it is noticed that their goals and activities are mostly voluntary instead of economic or political gains. Most of them are concerned with data-info, communiqué and practical projects to organize comprehensive domains or effect global change. In this age of globalization, INGOs keep their networking through advanced communication systems.
We see many formal working organizations and its subgroups functioning with different bodies in diverse domains like United Nations Organization. The need for such philanthropic work was felt after World War-II which caused much havoc and required support and rebuild. This concept provided many donors an opportunity to invest and later it had mushroom growth in many regions around the globe. Many INGOs and NGOs are also working in different domains in developing country like Pakistan along with its governmental sector. Lot many INGOs visited Pakistan after the dreadful earthquake of 2005 in Pakistan whereas many were already working for decades on humanitarian grounds. For years these NGOs and INGOs have grown throughout the country and it was noticed few years back that some of them are involved in sharing sensitive information outside the country particularly in the wake of Pakistan’s pivotal role in fighting burgeoning militancy on its soil. Not to forget that Osama Bin Laden was also traced through these INGOs and their different drives throughout the country. Likewise, some sensitive reports highlighted that few INGOs are working for Indian and Israeli lobby to work against Pakistan’s sovereignty, security, strategic, economic and national interest. Therefore, it was decided that such kinds of INGOs will not be allowed to expand their any kind of network within Pakistan.
It is important to note that the Government of Pakistan accords importance to the role and contribution of INGOs in support of its socio economic policies and programs. In 2015, the Government of Pakistan put together a policy framework to streamline and facilitate the work of INGOs in the country. As part of this framework, all INGOs present in Pakistan or desirous of operating in Pakistan are required to register themselves with the Ministry of Interior by signing MoU. In 2017, it was decided by government to take strict action against these INGOs who were working without formal security clearance. Interior Ministry in end of December, 2017 warned 29 INGOs about their applications to continue working in the country being rescinded and that they are to leave within 60 days. In May, 2018 some other INGOs were also articulated to end up their programmes in Pakistan because of their failure in getting due security clearance and license as the government ordered. Recently, 18 INGOs are communicated to end their operations with immediate effect because of refusal of their renewal of licenses. Reportedly, so far 145 INGOs have applied for registration with Ministry of Interior under new INGOs Policy. However, during the scrutiny it was revealed by sensitive organizations that 63 INGOs are working against Pakistan’s national interest. After constant follow up Ministry of Interior served notices to 49 INGOs, in November 2017 and August 2018, for closing their operation in the country.
Keeping in mind the rules and regulations these INGOs were given ample time to clear their position and 18 INGOs presented their files to relevant ministry. But on 2nd of October 2018, Interior Ministry gave final notices to 18 INGOs to wrap up their offices within 60 days of the notice. However, they are given a leverage to apply for working again after 6 months on revised MoU for their registration. During the scrutiny it was also revealed that there are 14 INGOs working in Pakistan who are running their businesses without any kind of registration and MOI has decided to take action against them soon. It is important to highlight that if some INGOs are put on watch list, there are 81 INGOs including 20 from USA, 14 from UK and 11 from Germany to work in Pakistan and they are contributing in very positive manner. Critics question INGOs in terms of liability and transparency. INGOs often appear challenging egalitarianism and other policies relevant to economic, social and environmental structures. However, being an influential element as independent watchdog in global power system, their legitimacy is a problem because of impartiality and non-alignment to any particular country.