In early 2019 the Pakistan government, informed by its intelligence agency, decided to deny 42 registrations of NGOs in the country. This official registration is necessary for NGOs to operate in the country and to receive foreign aids. Since the alleged cooperation of an international NGO with the American authorities to track down Osama Bin Laden, NGOs have been under pressure. For decades, NGOs have also been criticised by the right wing for promoting ‘Western values’ and it is this toxic mix of perceptions that is hurting the vital third sector in the country.
The question is why this is necessary in the first place for service providing NGOs. Through the official registration the Pakistanian government would have sufficient access to information to monitor their activities. The ban on NGOs oppresses citizen rights to organise and carry out public services, upholding a discours of anti-western imperialism.
Saidu Falahi Tanzeem (Society for Women’s Rights) aims to revive activism for women’s rights in a dangerous climate. They aim at building a movement, basically from scratch, through social media campaigning, organising small and peaceful protests, and by reaching out to existing women’s rights organisations to combine forces. Het Actiefonds supported Saidu Falahi Tanzeem in organising protests and printing flyers.