Islamabad: Pakistan's interior ministry will monitor the activities of international aid agencies, the government announced Monday, after authorities sealed the offices of Save the Children and suspended its operations. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the government planned to centralise responsibility for monitoring and regulating the activities of foreign aid organisations under his ministry.
"The government wants a comprehensive registration system of the groups to be in place to ensure a transparent system of accountability," Khan told reporters.
"We should know funding sources of the groups and the purpose for which the money is being given."
He said aid groups including Save the Children would be allowed to operate for the next six months but must re-register with the authorities within three months, in line with an announcement last week.
The operations of Save the Children were suspended this month for unspecified activities "against the country".
Pakistan has toughened its policies towards international aid groups in recent years, accusing them of covering for spying operations.
In 2012 the government expelled the expatriate staff of British-based Save the Children, which has worked in Pakistan for over 35 years and employs 1,200 Pakistanis.
That move came after Pakistani intelligence services accused the charity of links to doctor Shakeel Afridi, who was hired by the CIA to carry out a vaccination programme as part of the search for Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
Save the Children has always vehemently denied any link to either Afridi or the CIA....