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Save the Children kicked out of Pakistan

June 12, 2015

The Pakistani government has ordered the closing of the international aid group Save the Children's offices in Islamabad. The Interior Ministry said it had found the NGO "working against the interest of Pakistan."

Pakistan schließt NGO Save the Children in Islamabad
Image: Getty Images/AFP/A. Qureshi

Police in Islamabad locked the doors of Save the Children's offices late Thursday night, after Pakistan's Interior Ministry ordered the aid group to close shop and leave the country.

"We have been monitoring various international and local NGOs and Save the Children was found working against the interest of Pakistan," an official from the Interior Ministry told the DPA news agency.

Foreign staff members were given 15 days to leave the country, according to officials.

However, this was not the first time the group has been threatened by the Pakistani government.

Links to the CIA?

In 2011, Save the Children was the target of a scandal involving a fake doctor with links to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The doctor, Shakil Afridi, allegedly ran a fake polio vaccination campaign in the northwestern city of Abbottabad to confirm the presence of former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden for the CIA.

The aid group denied any connections to the doctor or to the CIA.

Bin Laden was killed by US Special Forces in Abbottabad the same year of the scandal. In 2012, Afridi was arrested by Pakistani security forces and jailed for treason.

Pakistan has tightened control over NGOs following the incident.

ls/sms (AP, dpa)