ISLAMABAD -  The federal government has given interim relief to some international non-government organisations, which were earlier asked to wind up their operations, by allowing them to work in Pakistan till the final decision of their pending appeals against the decision.

The Ministry of Interior under the directions of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has asked all INGOs, which had been earlier disallowed registration to operate in Pakistan, to continue with their work till the final decision of their appeals, said a statement issued by the ministry.

“The decision has been taken keeping in view of the ongoing operational matters of the INGOs and the image of Pakistan internationally,” the statement added.

Under the new registration policy of the government announced in 2015, any INGO can appeal within 90 days against the decision of the government of banning its operations in the country. After the rejection of the appeal, all such INGOs would have to leave the country within 60 days.

Last week, the interior minister, following international backlash over the government’s decision to introduce tough regulations for INGOs working in Pakistan, had directed the interior ministry to remove all obstacles in registration process of those international aid groups that are authentic and active.

The Ministry of Interior in December last year banned 27 INGOs halting their operations in Pakistan under a policy introduced in 2015.However, the ministry says, all such INGOs have the right to appeal against the decision before a committee headed by interior minister himself.

State Minister for Interior Talal Chaudhry, last month, had informed the Senate that some INGOs had been denied registration under the INGOs policy because of their non-responsiveness, non-substantive projects and security concerns. According to the state minister, 139 INGOs had applied for registration with the Ministry of Interior under the new policy and out of these, 66 had been allowed permission to operate while 27 had been denied registration. Out of the 27 INGOs, six INGOs are those which have been found, according to the ministry, non-responsive and were not providing required information.

Under the new policy, all INGOs are required to have mandatory registration afresh with the interior ministry otherwise they would not be allowed to operate in the country.

Prior to enforcement of new policy, the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) used to deal with the INGOs’ registration but later the task was handed over to the interior ministry in the light of the recommendations of the committee formed by the then prime minister.