Unchecked Liberty of NGOs in Pakistan
By Ali Sukhanver
Staying at luxuriously comfortable five-star hotels, doing a lot of air-traveling to different cities of Iran, visiting the tomb of Firdosi in Neeshapur, the tomb of Imam Khomeini in Tehran, the National Library, the Palaces of Raza Shah Pehalvi near Tajreesh and so many other places of Iran’s national importance; all was dreamingly wonderful and enchantingly attractive. Last month, I had an opportunity of being there in Iran as a state guest for about ten days. The occasion was Imam Khomeini’s death anniversary; every year on the eve of this death anniversary, the government of Iran invites foreign delegates from all over the world. For the participants from Pakistan, all arrangements are done by the Cultural Consulate of Iran in Pakistan and different offices of Khana-e-Farhang Iran in different cities of Pakistan help out the Cultural Consulate in this regard. I don’t know if the offices of the Khana-e-Farhang Iran are working in other countries also but as far as Pakistan is concerned, here we find a very vibrant working of Khana-e-Farhang offices in almost all big cities. Same liberty and freedom are enjoying the diplomatic officers and offices of other countries like USA and England in Pakistan. The independent working of Khana-e-Farhang Iran, The British Council, the American Consulate and of the diplomatic offices of other countries in Pakistan is a proof that Pakistan is a peaceful and secure land for everyone and the people of Pakistan and the government of Pakistan, both are doing all their best to provide these foreign offices a very cordial and congenial atmosphere.
Unfortunately this extra-ordinary cordial and congenial atmosphere sometimes creates a lot of problems for Pakistan. According to different media reports, a few fictitious and suspicious types of international Non-governmental organizations are misusing this liberty and freedom under the umbrella of some foreign offices in Pakistan. This question still needs answer whether such foreign offices are aware of their umbrella being misused or things are going on with their consent and support. Recently the Digital Rights Foundation published an analysis based on a report of the Intercept. The report said, ‘Britain’s intelligence agency GCHQ as a result of its Computer Network Exploitation (hacking) operations had gained presence on the Pakistan Internet Exchange prior to 2008. This gave GCHQ an access to almost any user of the internet inside Pakistan and the ability to re-route selected traffic across international links towards GCHQ’s passive collection systems.’ The Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, is a British intelligence and security organization responsible for providing signals intelligence and information assurance to the British government and armed forces. The Digital Rights Foundation condemned the actions of GCHQ and suggested in its analysis that the government of Pakistan must take action to protect the right to privacy of Pakistani citizens.
It is not only the British Intelligence agency GCHQ, there are so many foreign intelligence agencies working in and outside Pakistan against Pakistan. Their only aim and objective is to destabilize Pakistan simply because they know that Pakistan is the only Islamic country which could be a threat to the hegemony of the anti-Muslim countries. A report published in 2012 said, ‘The agents of CIA-led RAW and Mosssad are well-penetrated in various NGOs and human rights organizations. These NGOs are being used for vile propaganda against Pakistan’s security forces. The report further said, ‘ On July 31, 2011, a rally was organized by Baloch Human Rights Council in UK, in front of the US Embassy in London, which raised false accusations such as inhuman torture and extrajudicial murder of the Baloch intellectuals by the Pakistani army and the ISI.’ In his recent statement Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Khawaja Asif categorically criticized RAW for its involvement in “whipping up terrorism” in the Pakistan. Talking to a private TV channel, he said that Research & Analysis Wing of India was created to destroy Pakistan. Referring to the foreign insurgency in Baluchistan he said that the so-called separatist leaders of Baluchistan posses Indian passports. Now-a-days it is also in the air that the RAW sponsored terrorists are involved in disrupting the law and order situation in Karachi. The BBC has also revealed linkage of the RAW terrorists with the miscreants in Karachi. It is the right time to take serious action against all those who desire to change Pakistan into a wasteland. The law-enforcement agencies of Pakistan will have to keep more vigilant eye on the activities of the foreign agents who are working in the garb of NGOs or functioning under the umbrella of some foreign offices here in Pakistan.