Save the Children says Pakistan closed its Islamabad office

A Pakistani police officer stands guard outside the sealed Islamabad office of Save the Children on Thursday, June 11.

Story highlights

  • The NGO says its Islamabad office was "closed and sealed" without notice
  • Pakistan's government says some NGOs are working against national interests
  • Save the Children says its programs reached 4 million children in the country last year

(CNN)The international charity Save the Children says that its office in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, has been closed by national authorities without notice.

But Pakistani authorities on Friday issued a statement saying that several nongovernmental organizations were working against the country's national interests and would not be allowed to continue their work.
Save the Children said it has been working in Pakistan for more than 35 years and had a staff of 1,200 people in the country, none of them expatriates.
    "On June 11, Save the Children confirmed that its office in Islamabad, Pakistan, had been closed and sealed off today by the Pakistani authorities," the international organization said in a Thursday statement. "Save the Children was not served any notice to this effect. We strongly object to this action and are raising our serious concerns at the highest levels."

    Minister to detail concerns in parliament

    The government statement Friday, quoting Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, said the organizations in question "are operating with support from the United States, Israel and India." The minister said he planned to raise his concerns in parliament.
    The statement from the ministry said the government does not plan to ban all NGOs but is working on a plan to regulate and facilitate "legal" ones.
      Save the Children said that last year that its health, education, food security and other programs in the country reached more than 4 million children and their families.
      The organization said that all its work was "designed and delivered in close collaboration with the government ministries across the country, and aims to strengthen public service delivery systems in health, nutrition, education and child welfare."