Islamabad, June 30 (ANI): Over 100,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are currently operational in Pakistan, the country's National Assembly has been informed.
Federal Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education Samina Khalid Ghurki informed the NA in a written statement: "It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 NGOs working in the country. However, due to fragmented legal and regulatory framework, exact number of NGOs is not known."
She said the ministry has developed a national NGO database to address the issue.
The new database contains details of 45,000 NGOs, which have been registered under different laws.
There is more than one law under which an NGO could be registered at federal, provincial and district level governments.
She clarified that her ministry was neither the registration nor the monitoring authority under any of the existing laws, which govern NGOs in the country.
However, Ghurki said, the ministry had taken a number of steps to facilitate strengthening of monitoring mechanism to be adopted by regulatory authorities.
They are also developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the NGOs containing internationally accepted best practices in the areas of internal governance, financial transparency and program delivery, she added.
The registration and monitoring of the NGOs has long been an issue in Pakistan.
Right wing political parties have termed them as representatives of the west, and wanted a strict government control on their operations. (ANI)