Pakistan

Registration of NGOs, seminaries suspended in Gilgit

The Gilgit divisional administration has suspended registration of 320 NGOs, including a Chinese entity, and 30 seminaries operating in the division, for failing to provide details of their funding sources and activities.

According to a list provided to the media by Assistant Commissioner, Gilgit, Rana Waqas on Monday, 320 local NGOs and 30 seminaries’ registration had been suspended and their bank accounts frozen.

The decision was made in light of the directives of the GB Apex Committee meeting held in December, last year.

Mr Waqas, who oversees the registration process of such entities in the Gilgit division, gave until Feb 8 to the suspended NGOs and seminaries to submit their audit reports, detailing their sources of income and operations.

A source told Dawn that in pursuance of the Apex committee directives, a committee comprising local heads of intelligence agencies had been formed to scrutinise NGOs and streamline their operations. “If the committee finds any NGO fake, dubious, non-existent or involved in illegal activities, legal action would be taken against it,” he said.

The source said that the Apex body had directed the GB home department to obtain list of International NGOs working in the region. He said NGOs facilitating travel of foreigners to GB without NOC would be issued notices.

The source said laws would be enacted to regulate religious seminaries and other charity organisations in the region, adding syllabus of some private schools in Gilgit, their source of funding, and details of teachers and management would also be scrutinised.

The source said a request had been made to the director, immigration Islamabad for provision of data of all the GB residents studying abroad.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rehman Bukhari, a former secretary general of the Chinese Overseas Development and Welfare Organisation, Gilgit-Baltistan, whose registration has also been suspended, told Dawn that Chinese migrant residents had formed the organisation some six years ago. He said about 100 Chinese migrant families were currently living in Gilgit, most of whom belonged to Xinjiang province who migrated to GB in 1949 after the Chinese Communist revolution.

Mr Bukhari said the organisation was meant to ensure development and education of the Chinese migrants in the region.

He said the Chinese government was also financially supporting the organisation. He alleged that present office-bearers of the organisation had committed financial corruption, saying audit reports of the body had not been submitted with the registration authority for last six years.

Mr Bukhari alleged that funds meant for betterment of Chinese migrants were being embezzled.

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