Pakistan halts ordered closure of Save the Children office

Pakistan halts ordered closure of Save the Children office

Pakistan shuttered the group’s main office in the capital for allegedly “violating its charter.” By Friday, the organization had shut all its offices across the country.



By (AP)

Published: Sun 14 Jun 2015, 4:31 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:57 PM

A policeman stands guard outside the Save the Children charity

A policeman stands guard outside the Save the Children charity's office in Islamabad, Pakistan.- Reuters 

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Interior Ministry has halted an order it made closing the office of international aid group Save the Children in Islamabad, an official said on Sunday.

The senior Interior Ministry official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to discuss the decision, did not elaborate. The organization could not be immediately reached for comment.

On Thursday, Pakistan shuttered the group’s main office in the capital for allegedly “violating its charter.” By Friday, the organization had shut all its offices across the country.

At the time, Pakistan said it would not allow any non-government organization to work against its interests, without elaborating. The group has said it received no prior warning before its office was closed, saying it had worked in Pakistan for over 35 years and that it had 1,200 employees nationwide — none of them a foreign national.

The US State Department has expressed concern over the closure.

A Save the Children employee in Islamabad has told the AP that the doctor, Shakil Afridi, had twice attended training workshops organized by the group in 2009 and 2010 to train Pakistani doctors about the health care needs of children and mothers. The employee described Afridi as merely one of “more than 1,000 doctors” who took part. The employee spoke at the time on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to talk to journalists.


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