PR No.78 Interior Minister Chairs High Level Meeting At Interior Ministry Islamabad

A meeting chaired by the Interior Minister today decided to accord approval, in principle, to 19 INGOs allowing them to work in Pakistan in their respective fields. The process of granting them formal approval will be completed within one week by the INGO Committee.

The meeting was attended among other by Secretary Interior, NC NACTA and senior officials of the Interior Ministry.

The meeting discussed a host of issues including the deliberations during recently held meeting of Joint Re-admission Committee in Brussels, the present status of ECL, the progress made so far on the registration of INGOS, monitoring the capacity of private security companies besides security arrangements put in place for the educational institutions and media houses.

The Interior Minister appreciated the efforts of the Interior Ministry in reaching out an agreement with the EU wherein the EU showed complete understanding of Pakistan’s concerns over issue of deportees and various loopholes in the implementation of EURA and has assured to address these issues in line with the Re-admission Accord, the immigration laws and the SOPs developed by MoI.

The Interior Minister, while expressing satisfaction over the outcome of the Brussels meeting, observed that EU’s understanding of Pakistan’s legitimate concerns and the consensus achieved during the meeting would create a win-win situation that would not only help in further strengthening mutual cooperation in this area, but would also provide momentum to the efforts aimed at addressing the issue of illegal immigrants and human trafficking, besides addressing serious human rights concerns being faced by Pakistani Immigrants.

The meeting was also briefed about the current status of ECL. It was informed that after due deliberations and formulation of new SOP by Ministry of Interior, the figure of ECL has come down from more than 14000 to around 3000 at present. The Minister termed it a great achievement in streamlining a system grossly misused in the past. The Minister observed that in the new ECL policy, discretion and personal likes and dislikes have been completely eliminated which has not only made it a totally objective and transparent procedure but has also subjected it to the rule of law and safeguarding the rights of the person placed on ECL.

The meeting also discussed formulating a new SOP regarding Private Security Companies. The Minister directed that in the first phase, 196 security companies of the federal capital should be given notices to provide their complete details including number of employee, offices, training mechanism etc to the interior ministry within one week, failing which their permission to operate is liable to be cancelled. The Minister said that security companies will have to provide genuine service to their clients else their permission would be revoked. Genuine problems of the security companies will be addressed, continued the Minister. He said that it is imperative that security companies must own and equip their personnel with the required firearms and training while also ensuring rights of the employees. Those license holders whose only objective is to make money without providing due service and security will not be allowed to function. Operated efficiently, the private security companies can provide valuable help to our law enforcing agencies in maintaining law & order and ensuring security.

In order to review the security of schools, media houses and other important installations in the federal capital, the Minister decided to convene a meeting of all the stake holderson Thursday, wherein CDA shall also put forth concrete proposals to shift over 350 private schools currently located in residential areas. The issue involves tens of thousands of students studying in these schools, the minister observed, for which we need to chalk out a workable plan which is feasible for all.

The Minister also bade farewell to outgoing Interior Secretary Mr. Shahid Khan. While paying glowing tributes to the outgoing Secretary, the Minister complimented him for his honesty, commitment and leadership qualities during his tenure.