In this modern era, every individual is well aware of the word “NGO” but there might be a few who are not familiar with it so for them, I wish to define the real meaning and definition of NGO. NGO stands for Non-Government Organisation, formed to make people aware of their constitutional, economic, political and cultural rights. According to the definition of the World Bank, NGOs are the private organisations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services, or undertake community development. Research studies found that approximately, there are 10 million NGOs worldwide, out of which only 25,000-35,000 exist in Pakistan. But sadly, here in Pakistan, the misguided war on NGOs continues as previous governments in Pakistan rejected several international non-governmental organisations and shut down their operations. More specifically, the PTI-led government had a severe crackdown on NGOs under the pretext that they receive foreign funds, promote the “enemy agenda” and are working against the state. As per my sources, Khan took up the issue of NGOs’ foreign funding in one of its Cabinet meetings amid increasing concerns that his government was suppressing freedom of speech in the country. Khan, who came to power in 2018 after winning the polls, had ordered 18 foreign NGOs to close their operations and leave the country. Civil society activists feel Imran Khan’s government’s attempts to silence rights activists were a part of the authorities’ broader plan to silence dissent. There are 10 million NGOs worldwide, out of which only 25,000 to 35,000 exist in Pakistan. Moreover, dozens of NGOs in Punjab and Sindh have filed near-identical petitions in the country’s high courts contesting what they perceive the new legislation (EAD And Charity Commission) bringing them under the official heel and choking their operations as draconian. I personally know many of the organisations, which are closed by the previous governments and their key interventions. These organisations have reached out to poor communities in uncharted and far-flung areas in Sindh and Punjab to provide them access to schools, information regarding disaster risks and other important key issues. There is no doubt that the activities of these INGOs in Pakistan are commendable. These INGOs helped the marginalised communities in times of calamity and provided clean drinking water in areas of Thar and many other rural areas of Pakistan, set up schools for us and worked for social justice and played a vital role in achieving the social objectives. But Pakistani government always remained critical of its alleged “hidden agenda”. But we should appreciate these INGOs who always help people in Pakistan despite the security risks and the critical welcome they face from the common man. Recently, I had a chance to speak with some of my friends who are working in various INGOs based in Islamabad. They said the common problem they face nowadays is that the government departments are too much slow in issuing visas for their foreign colleagues and NOCs. If any foreign colleagues intending to visit Pakistan are made to wait for 3-4 months for issuance of visas while their visa applications are scrutinised by the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and intelligence agencies. By doing this, the INGO delegates lose interest and decide not to visit Pakistan. Moreover, people working in these INGOs that I have spoken to are worried about their future, foreign funding for these INGOs too is dependent on the issuance of the MoU, and thus their future hangs in the balance. The checklist of documents provided on the Ministry of Interior’s website cites some 15 documents which are required for registration. This checklist requires that INGOs provide tax returns, staff details, details of registration in the country of origin, funding details, proof of continued funding etc. Despite having provided these documents to the Economic Affairs Division and Ministry of Interior, several INGOs are still waiting for approvals. Very honestly, I want to tell the government that these INGOs are truly working for the betterment, welfare of the people, capacity building, and giving awareness and farewell to human beings. These organisations address macro-political issues of the country. Nonetheless, some potentially promising results are beginning to emerge from the efforts of coalitions and networks of NGOs and community-based organisations (CBOs) to educate citizens about the meanings of democracy, representation, and the role of voters. NGOs are catalysts, enablers and innovators in society. Basically, an NGO’s role is to prepare people for change. They empower the people to overcome psychological problems and opposition to oppression. Its role cannot be denied. There is no denying the fact that there are NGOs which have been used as vehicles for covert operations by foreign powers. Whilst the need for regulation is undeniable, the modus operandi of regulations must be made as transparent as possible. Both local and foreign organisations working in the country should be registered and documented but the absence of documentation should not be used as an excuse to shut them down completely. The government should be working in coordination with NGOs to improve its registration mechanism and simplify its policies and procedures in this regard. There are no viable alternatives available to the essential services provided by many NGOs and their closure means that some of our most impoverished citizens will have to go without their only source of support. The importance of their work merits that the government should make its compliance procedures less punitive and more transparent when it comes to oversight of NGO funds and operations. I request the Pakistani government to provide an enabling environment for the NGOs so the NGOs can implement the development agenda of governments more economically and efficiently by applying flexible and innovative methods at the grassroots levels. NGOs are the awareness providers which provide social disparity and for that purpose, they have bought the entire nation under one roof and working hard to remove all the racist and sect differences which will ultimately enhance the solidarity and patriotism among the people of Pakistan and will give them a love for the humanity. Lastly, I want to request the present coalition government to take up this issue and allow NGOs to work for the underprivileged communities of Pakistan. The writer is a social and political activist. He can be reached at salmanali088 @gmail.com, and tweets @Salmani_Salu.