ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chauhdry Nisar claimed today that more than 1,000 intelligence operators came to Islamabad under the guise of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) during the previous government’s rule.

“Around 1,000 intelligence operators visited the country and got visas in the name of international aid groups in the previous government’s rule,” Nisar said, while addressing the National Assembly.

“All these operators were working with hostile intelligence agencies,” he added.

Nisar was responding to a call-attention notice by JUI-F Senator Hamdullah and PPP’s Saeed Ghani, addressing various statements about INGOs particularly Save the Children.

Criticising the previous government, the interior minister said the people who raised the slogan of ‘Pakistan first’ never dared taking actions against these INGOs.

He asserted that several INGOs were involved in anti-state activities which were not halted by the previous governments. Nisar said his ministry, on the request of the Economic Affairs Division,sealed the office of Save the Children.

The government on Monday decided that its top registration body, the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA), will be utilised to maintain a central database for the exit control list and to register international aid groups.

The development came weeks after the government had restricted operations of various International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) in the country, prominently among them Save the Children. The INGOs were allegedly involved in anti-state activities.