Editorial

Protests over US funding of NGOs

Russian Foreign Ministry has criticized Washington for channeling funds to NGOs in ways that get around Russian restrictions. The Russian reaction came in response to US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland’s characterization of recent searches of Russian NGOs as a witch-hunt.

May be Russia has cogent reasons for the searches of its NGOs. In December last Russia banned organisations engaged in vaguely defined political activity from receiving funding from US citizens and Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman justified the decision calling it a barefaced interference. The Russian complaint in fact reflects concerns of many countries around the world including Pakistan where NGOs are being funded and they are not prepared to share information about the way the funds were being used. Of course there are some elderly ladies in Pakistan who are carrying out welfare activities by running schools, colleges and dispensaries through their NGOs. However there are some other NGOs in Pakistan whose credentials are subject of public criticism and doubts. Some circles, concerned about the security and integrity of the country, have been openly blaming that US and other countries use the NGOs and their funding for the attainment of their own objectives. Under the disguise of welfare projects, staff of these NGOs is used for spying and helping anti national elements. It is also believed that they work under a particular agenda to create a perception on an issue in line with the direction of the donors and to create dent in the established values of a society. Therefore it is necessary that both the donors and recipient NGOs must strictly follow the laws of the host country and utilization of funds must be transparent and open to scrutiny.

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UN may step in Korean Peninsula

The latest round of threats exchanged by North Korea and the United States is dragging on longer and taking on a more virulent tone than in the past, provoking deep concerns not only in Korean peninsula but across the world. While a direct attack on U.S. forces on the mainland or in the Pacific seems unlikely, nongovernment US analysts said the rising tensions increase the risk of some form of limited armed conflict.


North Korea may be concerned over actions by the US including announcement by the Pentagon that it was significantly bolstering missile defence capabilities. North Korea is angry about the annual South Korea-US military drills, which will run until the end of April and at the UN sanctions imposed after it carried out another nuclear test in February. As a result recent weeks have seen a torrent of bellicose rhetoric from Pyongyang threatening dire consequences for both South Korea and the US. In a new escalation of rhetoric Saturday, North Korea’s official KCNA news agency reported that the country was entering a “state of war” with South Korea and that “all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has approved a plan to put rockets on standby to fire at U.S. targets, including the American mainland and military bases in the Pacific and in South Korea. Washington Post quoted senior US officials suggesting that plans have been drawn up for “surgical strikes” against North Korea. We believe that the situation in Korean Peninsula is taking a dangerous turn and the UN must step in by hiring the services of those who help in fire fighting like former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to defuse the situation.

Courtesy: Pakistan Observer