Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday conducted hearing into a petition seeking court’s directions against activities of USAID in the country.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq heard the matter and directed the petitioner to assist the court regarding law points in this regard.

In this matter, a petitioner Muhammad Bilal Advocate filed the petition in person and sought court orders against the activities of USAID in Pakistan that according to him have entered into the sensitive domain of CNIC and voter lists under the pretext of facilitating the process. After issuing the above-mentioned directions, the IHC bench deferred the hearing till the first week of August for further proceedings in this petition.

The petitioner nominated Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Interior, Secretary Foreign Affairs, Secretary Defence, Secretary Law and Justice and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) through Chief Election Commissioner as respondents.

In his petition, Bilal said that USAID has been operating in Pakistan for many years in the name of humanitarian assistance, human rights and democratisation of the country.

He added that in 2011, USAID started a project by the name of Citizen Voice Project to foster links between government and citizens through a local NGO.

 The activities under this project apparently started in the areas of energy, water and citizen oversight of municipal services. But in pursuance of USA national interest, USAID now entered into the sensitive areas in the pretext of facilitating acquiring of Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC) and registration in voter lists, especially for women.

The petitioner said that the activities of USAID project are against the spirit of Article 14 of the Constitution that is regarding privacy of home, and humanitarian assistance, charity, human rights and democracy are not absolute and never allow any state to intervene into the internal affairs of other states or violate fundamental rights of citizens.

He added that the hidden objectives of the USAID/Americans through such activities are to collect data, penetrate into the social structure, influence the political affairs, sabotage development projects, destabilise and create security problems for Pakistan in the pretext of humanitarian assistance.

He argued that USAID also aimed at creating hurdles in Pakistan adopting independent foreign policies towards neighbouring countries and Muslim world. Bilal alleged that previously USAID remained involved in anti-state activities which resulted in undermining the sovereignty of Pakistan.

He continued that the respondent misused powers in granting permissions to USAID carrying activities prejudicial to the state and fundamental rights.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to direct Ministry of Interior to ban activities of USAID in the country and respondents may be directed to produce memorandums of understandings and documents to the extent of USAID area of work for public information and a commission may be instituted to monitor activities of US citizens in Pakistan.