ISLAMABAD - Authorities on Monday told TheNation that it has turned down request to review its decision to not to give extension in visas to some officials of an International NGO working for years in Pakistan.

“Pakistan was asked to review its decision to expel some workers of NGO last week, however, it was turned down by concerned authorities,” sources told TheNation. Pakistan on September 6th 2012, announced that it has decided not to extend visa of some social workers of an NGO.  Decision to refuse extension in visas to some officials of an NGO ‘Save the Children’ is said to have taken after they were found guilty of hooking Dr Shakil Afridi with CIA, officials dealing with issue told TheNation on Monday.

“I can’t reveal which types of evidence do we have against some officials of International NGOs, however, I can confirm you that decision to refuse them extension in visas was taken following their role in controversial activities,” an official privy to development told TheNation.

Insiders told TheNation on Monday that decision was taken after investigators traced link between CIA initiated fake polio vaccination campaign and foreign workers of an international NGO. Off-the record conversation with relevant officials and background interviews revealed that Pakistani authorities have lost faith in all foreign NGOs. They are under the impression that NGOs only mission is to compile rigged statistics and reports to malign Pakistan. Pakistan’s refusal to extend visas of workers of NGO has sent a shocking wave among the donors and International NGOs operating in Pakistan for years.

‘Save the Children’, an International NGO which has been working in Pakistan for improving health of Pakistani children, is still in talks with the Interior Ministry to solve the issue of extension of visas, however, officials say Pakistan will not grant extension in visas.

Well informed official sources told TheNation that authorities have almost finalised a proposal according to which only reliable national organisations including Edhi Foundation, Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital and Agha Khan Hospital etc could be given job of countrywide vaccination.

“No doubt, most of the foreign organisations and NGOs have good reputation but there are precedents when some of the workers of these foreign organisations allegedly found in activities contrary to their mandate. Hence, we are planning to reduce role of foreign NGOs in country,” said the official. A spokesman for ‘Save the Children’ offices in Pakistan, Ghulam Qadri, told media that Interior Ministry refused extension in visas to some of its foreign national workers. Authorities had previously accused Save the Children of helping to make a connection between Dr. Shakeel Afridi and US officials, who was searching for someone to assist in confirming Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts in Abbottabad.

Save the Children works in more than 50 countries including Pakistan.

It provides relief to children and families affected by disasters and civil conflict. It has had a presence in Pakistan for more than 30 years and was a key aid provider when massive floods swept through the country in 2010, affecting more than 20 million people and causing billions of dollars in damage.

The organisation was one of a host of Western non-governmental organisations that endured a ramp-up in scrutiny from Pakistan’s intelligence community following the disclosure of Dr Shakeel Afridi’s fake vaccination ruse.

Many such groups reported difficulties in getting visas renewed for their Pakistan-based workers, while others said they were under surveillance by Pakistani authorities.

Social workers believe Pakistani authorities have made it much harder for them to do their jobs, but they also criticised the CIA for using humanitarian work as a cover for intelligence gathering.