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NGOs in north Pakistan suspend work after clerics' fatwa declaring activities 'haram'

Islamabad , Fri, 06 Jul 2012 ANI

Islamabad, July 6 (ANI): Non-Government Organisations NGOs in Pakistan's Kohistan district have suspended their activities, and would not resume their work unless the region's administration guarantees their security.

The move came after clerics in Kohistan refused to reverse their 'final edict' against NGOs operating in the area, describing their activities as 'haram'.

The local ulema had called the authorities to immediately revoke the NGOs' no-objection certificates.

"Yes, we have closed our field office and called back staff members, suspending project activities, at least temporarily," The Express Tribune quoted Saiban, an official of one NGO, as saying.

Over 150 ulema from the northern district had earlier accused the NGOs of conspiring against Islam, the ulema and local customs and decided that any funding for development schemes in the district, must come through the government.

They had also warned beneficiaries of NGO projects that their funeral prayers would not be offered unless they ceased availing benefit from the projects.

Clerics suggested that the NGOs and their donors shift their projects to other poverty stricken areas as they believed Kohistan did not have any dire requirement. (ANI)

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