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Pakistan orders 18 intl NGOs to shut down operations, leave country – report

Pakistan has ordered 18 international aid groups to shut down their operations and leave the country, a spokeswoman for ActionAid said on Thursday. ActionAid, which focuses on education, poverty alleviation and human rights, said it had received an expulsion notice from Pakistan’s Interior Ministry. A statement from the group did not say whether the ministry gave any reason for its decision. The ActionAid statement called the move “an attack on civil society and human rights organizations,” Reuters reports. A UK-based spokeswoman for ActionAid said that 17 other foreign-funded aid groups had received similar notifications.