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Pack up and leave, NGOs in northern Pakistan told

July 02, 2012 14:44 IST

Clerics in the Kohistan region of northern Pakistan have issued a "final edict" against NGOs operating in the area, describing their activities as 'haram' and demanding that authorities immediately revoke their no-objection certificates.

Over 150 clerics of the remote Kohistan district gathered at a mosque and vowed that they will not offer funeral prayers for people who continue to be beneficiaries of any NGO, The Express Tribune reported.

The clerics formed a 34-member committee to ensure that NGOs pack up and leave Kohistan as soon as possible.

The committee will meet on July 14 to decide on a future course of action if NGOs do not leave the region.

The clerics had earlier given NGOs until June 29 to leave the area.

Former parliamentarian Maulana Abdul Haleem claimed NGO workers were behind a campaign against local customs and Islamic codes.

Despite repeated warnings, the NGOs did not stop "hatching conspiracies" against clerics and customs, he claimed.

The newspaper quoted official sources as saying that the district administration has been persuading the clerics to allow NGOs to work by following local customs.

Kohistan district administration chief Aqal Badshah met clerics in this regard but they refused to rescind their decision.

Over 500 youths from Kohistan currently work with NGOs and a majority feel their jobs are now at risk, said a local activist.

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