Hypocrisy and NGOs in Pakistan

Before taking up the actual matter, let it be clear that all the NGOs in Pakistan are not the subject matter of this post. There are many NGOs, foreign based and indigenous, that are doing marvelous work in health, education and social fields. These NGOs are working in silence (without making propaganda). You will not see group photos / statements of their controllers in newspapers but can go to their areas and witness their work. (It is a different matter that a few of them have been banned and their accounts frozen by government of Pakistan on the direction of American government on the pretext of antiterrorism)

Subject of this post are many NGOs who make lot of propaganda not for the sake of welfare of the poor / needy but for their own projection. Somehow such NGOs have not only invaded print media in Pakistan but have also found a soft corner generally with all the governments of Pakistan, specially, with the present government and also have foreign patronization.

Presently, a famous case is of Mukhtaran Mai of Meerwala, Dera Ghazi Khan. Some of the agitating NGOs in this case have experienced lawyers in their fold, and who doesn’t know eminent lawyers, Asma Jahagir and Syed Iqbal Hyder (law minister in the cabinet of Benazir Bhutto), the chair person and general secretary respectively of HRCP ? Then why it so happened that, in the case of Mukhtaran Mai, proper evidence against perpetrators of crime was not put up in the Anti-terrorism Court and also no objection was raised against the pro-accused investigation report submitted by the police ? It is because members of HRCP and it’s satellite NGOs were interested only in building up their images and not really feeling the pain of the poor victim. Blowing up one odd case satisfied their personal needs by pleasing foreign donor agencies and also getting a pat from anti-Muslim Western governments.

The people who matter in these NGOs either belong to families of Waderas or are their proteges. Their treatment with the poor under their nose / at their homes is of master to slave. All their lives they have been finding faults with Pakistan and Islam. They are the people who want the type of Pakistan where free access to wine, women and dance is allowed. Didn’t Asma Jahangir, during her visit to India, dance in the open and also issued statements against Pakistan and Deen Islam ? Is Syed Iqbal Hyder not known as one who drinks like fish ?

HRCP and it’s satellite NGOs are being patronized by the present government of Pakistan and had also been supported by earlier governments. (Post on roll of government of Pakistan will be taken up at some later date)

A poor simple but courageous villager, Mukhtaran Mai, has been made a tool and a display item for providing food to mentors of some NGOs ? Why after all another about half-a-dozen similar cases, which occurred during past two years, have not been taken up and given publicity by any NGO ? And for that matter why all these NGOs and their big brother HRCP failed to come to the aid of Dr Shazia Khalid who, just after the incident, was kept under tranquillizer for three days, there-after, under house arrest in the name of security during which nobody was allowed to contact her, and ultimately pushed out of the country ? Are other women including Dr Shazia creation of a lesser god ?

It is evident that these NGOs did their part as such cases are their life-blood. Wherever they smell a kill, they rush out with slogans, banners and paid photographers. They are least interested in the human aspect. Had they been for human rights, rock-solid evidence should have been produced in the court and police report would have been objected to resulting in inquiry at a high level which would have brought justice to Mukhtaran Mai and the criminals such that, in future, these self-made lords/jurists would have not dared to indulge in such heinous crime.

I have been trying to study working of NGOs for the last two decades. I found that some of them were doing good work without wishing to get any publicity. However, there were many NGOs whose working was suspicious. There are 44 NGOs in Islamabad, 15 of them only in sector F-8 (1,610 x 1,610 meter including schools, play grounds, roads, mosques, etc) where I live. I visited 4 of these a number of time to find what welfare work they were carrying on. They had offices decorated with a few pictures of their head with some foreign donor and/or a minister/President of Pakistan and nice young girls. All their talk was in the air like:

“You know we help the poor, the needy. In our country women are oppressed, we
are here to help them. Majority of our people, specially women, are illiterate,
we also take up projects of education”.

With all my efforts and humble requests, I was unable to get any clue to some work being done by them on the surface of the globe or a needy woman/person who had been helped, but no. Head of one of these NGOs is the person who installed uncountable billboards to support referendum of General Pervez Musharraf. Once, after attending a meeting in a 5-star hotel in Islamabad, I saw a group of well-dressed women coming towards the lobby and a friend introducted me to one of the ladies as “Meet spirit behind the welfare of oppressed women, chair person of so & so NGO”. Trying to make use of the opportunity to satisfy my inquisitive mind, I started asking questions but got the answers as stated above. My friend said bye to them and pulled me aside. When I asked the reason he said, “They are wives of big people (Waderas / bureaucrats / generals), and arrange tea/dinner parties in the name of welfare to discuss latest designs of ornaments and clothes, then get a statement printed in newspaper, sometimes, with their picture to show it to their donors so that they keep on getting funds”.

Is this not Hypocrisy on the part of HRCP and it’s satellite NGOs.

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