Role of NGOs in Pakistan

محمد عباس شاد
محمد عباس شاد
فروری 01, 2015 -
Role of NGOs in Pakistan

Rahimia Magazine (February,2015)

In any civilized society, state bears the responsibility to protect human rights and provide basic necessities to its citizens. Deprivation of citizens from their basic necessities indicates the failure of political and economic system of the country. Insurance companies, NGOs, welfare organizations and charity institutions claim to protect economic future of individuals. Services provided by these organizations are inherently included in the primary functions of state. Thus, Capitalism confesses its failure and inability to fulfill the needs of society by allowing non government organizations to carry out all sorts of their activities.

The term NGO is referred to those non government organizations which comprise of a group of individuals and their proclaimed aim is to work for the welfare of deprived humanity. Due to their limitations of infrastructure, financial and human resources, these organizations can provide temporary relief to only a minute percentage of the society while majority of society still remains deprived and afflicted. It is an undeniable fact that none of the developed countries have solved their collective problems through charity organization. Wherever the situation of masses has changed, it was due to the state institutions that realized their own responsibility and took measures to establish social and economic justice in the society. Greater the injustice and exploitation in the society, greater will be the number of NGOs in that society. Operation of these organizations creates an illusion among the masses that the collective problems can be solved by increasing the number of such organizations which is completely illogical and impractical. This diverts the attention of people from irresponsible and unjust behavior of state institutions towards societal needs. For example; deficiencies in health and education sector can never be eliminated by opening some charity hospitals and schools unless the state institutions of health and education starts performing their responsibilities as mentioned in the constitution.

Most of these organizations obtain their financial assistance from their sister organizations working on global scale. In the era of neo-colonialism, developed capitalist countries need the services of local entities available on hire in order to achieve their imperialist objectives in a particular region. These forces may belong to different sectors of society and are manufactured to cope with particular needs. Contemporary global imperialism not only controls the political system of third world countries through ruling and opposition parties but also influences the social structure, traditions and values with the help of these non government organizations.
Most of these organizations operating through international funding serve the agenda of foreign forces. They manipulate important political and social issues and reward their favorite actors with awards like Nobel Peace Prize, etc. Different political and religious parties and different families belonging to the ruling elite head these professional charity organizations. On one hand, they maintain their social and financial dominance through political system of governance while on the other hand they have devised extremely sophisticated procedures to loot the unlimited funds of these NGOs. As is the case with our government institutions, an honest official in these organizations face extreme pressures and hostility by the prevailing environment of inefficiency and scientific corruption.

According to a recently conducted survey, approximately one hundred thousand NGOs are working in Pakistan. Apart from foreign funding, many of these organizations are run with the help of public donations. This raises a question in mind that if the public has to fund these organizations in order to provide certain services to society, then what is the purpose of heavy taxation imposed on the society. From buying a match stick to buying a unit of electricity, we are paying numerous taxes to the state in one form or the other. The real purpose of this taxation is to ensure basic necessities like food, shelter, health, education, protection and employment to citizens. Since none of these facilities are provided by state, common man is being robbed off from his hard-earned money in three ways: one in the form of taxes, two in the form of donation to NGOs and third in the form of expenditure to buy these facilities from market.

State has negligible authority to ensure transparency and accountability in the functioning of these organizations. Some of the extremist militant groups which were banned by state have now transformed themselves into welfare organization in order to ensure their survival in society. Moreover, some of these NGOs are being used for tax evasion, money laundering and other illegal activities. In the light of above mentioned facts, it is very important for us to understand these organizations in their proper context.

Translation: Mr.Muhammad Usman, Faisalabad

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محمد عباس شاد
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