With Eid-ul-Azha on Saturday, the government has issued its yearly reminder of not donating to any charity organisations or fronts associated with terrorist or extremist outfits. This time however, the Interior Ministry has gone a step further and published detailed lists of proscribed organisations and those under watch in print media advertisements, an important step in informing the public to ensure that money for charity does not flow into the wrong hands. The list of proscribed outfits and organisations is listed on government websites and is readily available, but is normally not sought out by the average person when deciding on donating hides and other forms of charity. With the extensive list naming 71 organisations in all major papers, it will now be hard to miss.

However, this does not mean that proscribed organisations have had their funding in the time of Eid completely cut off. There is still room to regulate the general flow of alms – a very large amount – in the country. Every mosque, social work organisation and non-governmental organisation that collects charity needs to be kept under watch to monitor where this money goes. There have been countless cases where the local cleric is secretly collecting donations for militants. More needs to be done on this front.

Organisations with political or extremist agendas cannot be allowed to participate in the annual drive for charity, which can be a lucrative opportunity for both well-meaning social work organisations like the Sindh Institution of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) and those with more sinister designs such as the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its charity wing, the Falah-i-Insaaniyat Foundation (FIF). Not only does this directly fund our enemies in their war against the country, but it also takes a large portion away from organisations that deserve it.

With the hides of sacrificed animals and cash donations, this Eid is an important time for charity organisations to generate a significant portion of their yearly revenue and work towards providing better services to the people. With the confusion surrounding the donations process and how to decide the destination of one’s charitable efforts, perhaps deciding on a single, reliable alternative is the best course of action. A trusted name such as the Edhi Foundation then, is a charity organisation that can be trusted in putting the money to good use.