NGO Provisionally Allowed To Resume Functioning

NGO Provisionally Allowed To Resume Functioning

The Lahore High Court has provisionally allowed a non-governmental organisation – Taangh Wasaib – to resume its functioning.

Earlier, Additional Advocate General Anwaar Hussain told the court that the government had been taking action against unregistered NGOs and those that had been getting foreign funding. He said the petitioner-NGO was also unregistered and had been receiving foreign funding.

The law officer pointed out that the petitioner organisation neither got itself registered with the Home Department nor disclosed its sources of foreign funding to the authorities.

Quoting reports of the Interior Ministry and intelligence agencies, an official of the Home Department told the court that the petitioner organisation was involved in anti-state activities.

Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah observed that the government should come up with effective legislation if it wanted to take action against the NGOs involved in anti-state activities. He observed that no organisation could be barred from working merely on the allegation of being anti-state.

The Chief Justice provisionally allowed the petitioner-NGO to resume its working and also directed it to formally apply to the Home Department for registration.

The CJ observed that the government could investigate the accounts of the NGO. Hearing was adjourned till July 15.

Counsel for the NGO, Barrister Usama Malik stated that the Home Department had previously banned its functioning in southern and other parts of the province on the allegation of being involved in anti-state activities. Later, he said, the NGO was allowed to resume its functioning following an order passed by the High Court. However, he said the government had again started harassing the staff of the organisation and had not been allowing it to open its offices.

The counsel asked the court to initiate contempt proceedings against the Home Secretary.


Previously published in DAWN and republished here with permission.