ISLAMABAD - Two international non-government organizations (INGOs) have got the first formal authorization to work in Pakistan under the government’s new policy.

The Ministry of Interior yesterday said that it had formally given authorization to work in the country to two INGOs - Qattar Charity and MSF Belgium - under the country’s first ever policy on registration and regulation of INGOs.

The information was shared at a meeting held at the Ministry of Interior to review the implementation on National Action Plan (NAP) on Counter Terrorism and the new policy for the registration of INGOs. The Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan chaired the meeting.

The registration of INGOs is a matter of concern for both the government and INGOs for the last many months as the former in the past had been asking that a number of INGOs were working in Pakistan without its formal permission and many were working out of its mandate and jurisdiction raising serious questions.

The meeting was informed that 127 INGOs had so far applied fresh with the Ministry of Interior under the new policy. “The chair directed the Ministry of Interior should soon decide the fate of remaining applications,” said a statement issued by the ministry after the meeting. The chair said that those INGOs would have complete support of the government to work in the country that would get permission from it. The interior minister said that the purpose of the new policy was to enhance partnership of INGOs and government and to facilitate their work.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had announced the first ever INGOs registration and regulations policy on 1st of October this year and INGOs were asked to register themselves with his ministry. While unveiling the policy, he had said that all INGOs would be required to apply online for registration within 60 days. The deadline expired on November 30 and the government had extended it for another month till December 31. Nisar had said more than once that under this policy, those INGOs would not be allowed to work in Pakistan who would not get themselves registered fresh with his ministry.

The Monday’s meeting also reviewed the implementation of NAP and it was decided that the work on collection of facts and figures about actions taken under each point of the plan should be expedited and organized in a better way. It was decided in the meeting that steps should be taken in coordination with the provincial governments to monitor every point of NAP. It decided that all points of NAP should be graded on the basis of performance and the relevant governments as well as department should be more focus on those pints on which the progress remained slow or not satisfactory.

The interior minister remarked that not only law and order situation has improved due to proper implementation on NAP but also the morale of terrorism stricken nation was now high because of this. “NAP is not a plan of a political party, group or government institution but a national plan and the whole nation supports it,” he said. He said that NAP would b implemented with determination and full force. The remarks of the minister came following the address of Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to his party workers and loyalists at Garhi Khuda Bukhsh that NAP was being used for political victimization.