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Pakistan Allows Save the Children to Resume Operations

  • VOA News

A policeman stands guard outside the Save the Children charity's office in Islamabad, Pakistan, June 12, 2015.

A policeman stands guard outside the Save the Children charity's office in Islamabad, Pakistan, June 12, 2015.

Pakistan's Interior Ministry on Sunday allowed the international non-governmental organization Save the Children to resume operations, days after shutting down its headquarters in Islamabad and giving staff members 15 days to leave the country.

The ministry did not elaborate on the reversal.

Authorities sealed the office in the capital on Thursday, accusing the organization of involvement in "anti-Pakistan activities." By Friday, every office in the country was closed.

At the time, a Pakistan official said "We have been monitoring their calls and watching their offices and their activities are very suspicious." The official did not specify what activities were objectionable.

Save the Children, which has been in Pakistan for 35 years, said in a statement it has no expatriate staff in Islamabad.

The charity said "We strongly object to this action and are raising our serious concerns at the highest levels."

The charity's expatriate staff was forced to leave a few years ago after a Pakistan intelligence report said the Save the Children organization had ties to Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor allegedly recruited by the CIA to help find al-Qaida head Osama bin Laden. The organization has denied any links to the doctor.

Save the Children said "All our work is designed and delivered in close collaboration with the government ministries across the country and aims to strengthen public service delivery systems in health, nutrition, education and child welfare."

Some material for this report came from AP.

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