PCSF expresses concern on baseless, one-sided trial of NGOs
by Press Release (Last Updated January 26, 2018)
Published in Pakistan Today.
LAHORE: Expressing perturbation on sweeping statements by parliamentarians quoted in some newspapers, the Pakistan Civil Society Forum (PCSF) has questioned how such ‘generalised allegations’ of misuse of funds were leveled on NGOs and INGOs without empirical evidence.
According to a statement released by the forum on Friday, without probing and verifying complaints received by the National Accountancy Bureau, stern statements of actions against NGOs show the immaturity and lack of seriousness at the government level. Such statements are nothing but a part of the malicious and mala-fide campaign against the non-government organisations.
We believe that instead of leveling such blanket allegations and playing roles of both the accuser and the judge simultaneously, some sanity shall prevail within the ranks, the statement read further. For the last several years such unfounded allegations have been leveled against NGOs and INGOs, but none of those have ever been proved or verified or any transparent and credible investigation process has ever undertaken.
The forum opposes this one-sided accountability and totally rejects such baseless allegations. While Pakistan is already facing serious criticism for its unjustifiable and illegal actions against credible NGOs and INGOs, such statements will further complicate the country’s situation in the international community. Shrinking spaces for civil actions and instigating public opinion against social organisations would give rise to uncertainty and unduly legitimise the anti-development forces. PCSF demands that the government parliamentarians and authorities should desist from such irresponsible statements and stop such propaganda forthwith, the statement read.
All these are clear indications of the overreach of the state through unfounded innuendoes and allegations. These allegations are being bandied around in order to generate unnecessary coercive activity and highly repressive measures. Ostensibly, all this will take place without any dialogue, consultation or participatory accountability and allowance of defence from the unsubstantiated openly accused institutions trying to do high level good for the society. Such dubious exercise of power with total impunity poses a very serious threat to the continuing evolution and development of democracy in Pakistan, said the released statement.