Plea seeks ban on USAID activities

 
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Islamabad July 6 (TNS): A petition has been filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), seeking a ban on activities of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), for its alleged involvement in internal affairs of the country and for collecting the data of the people.

The petitioner, Mohammad Bilal, a lawyer by profession, has requested the court to form a commission headed by a retired superior court judge to look into the activities of the USAID and certain NGOs funded by the US.

The federation, through secretaries of the interior, foreign affairs, defence and law and justice and the chief election commissioner have been made respondents in the petition.

According to the plea, in 2011 the USAID launched a project named “Citizen Voice Project” to apparently foster links between the government and the Pakistani citizens through local NGOs. The activities under the project started in areas of energy, water with citizens overseeing municipal services.

Now the USAID has made inroads into sensitive areas through the citizens especially women to collect the data of sensitive matters.

The petitioner has argued that “we can never allow any state to interfere in the internal affairs of other states or violate the citizens’ fundamental rights”.

The petitioner has maintained that the USAID under the pretext of humanitarian assistance was carrying out activities to influence the political process and create security problems in the country.

Islamabad High Court judge Justice Aamer Farooq will hear the case on Thursday (today).

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