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The politics of INGOs

Zibago

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The politics of INGOs
By Hussain Nadim
Published: December 18, 2018
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The writer is a PhD candidate and Director of South Asia Study Group at the University of Sydney. He tweets @HNadim87

Pakistan has had a troubled relation with the INGOs. This is especially since the passage of the KLB Act that allowed USAID to directly fund INGOs in Pakistan creating an anxiety within the security establishment. On the surface, it may appear as the state trying to curb democracy and maintain control but the issue is much deeper than that and is not exclusive to Pakistan. Over 96 countries around the world including India, Russia, China and Israel have in the past restricted the operations of INGOs and NGOs inside their borders identifying them as a challenge to their national sovereignty and security.

The real question here is if this security anxiety is part of the developing world paranoia — what many Western observers condescendingly attribute as the ‘conspiracy mindset’ or does this security anxiety have legs to stand?

Needless to say that not all INGOs are peddling an agenda, but what is also true is that there are many INGOs that are indeed a cause for concern. Hence, this anxiety of the Pakistan government is not unfounded and has its roots in the US strategy that integrates security and development into a policy nexus to achieve its strategic interests in the developing world through a ‘whole of government’ approach. This is because since the end of the Cold War and especially since 9/11, the West has perceived the national security threat to emanate not from powerful states but largely from the weak states that allow non-state actors to thrive within their borders. Therefore, the US policy integrated security and development as a strategy to deliver counter-terrorism and insurgency goals in these fragile states where poverty and terrorism appeared to reinforce global insecurity. Part of this required collecting raw intelligence from ground and conducting covert operations, the other part was to win hearts and minds through development assistance — essentially to buy influence that would support the US strategic aims in the region.

Development sector including INGOs and NGOs in many cases, thus, play a critical role albeit unconsciously as a platform to deliver American strategic goals in what Mary Kaldor refers to as the new style of wars. The result? We have an entire development agenda both securitised and politicised to serve the interests of the Western powers. For instance, the polio campaign in Pakistan has suffered enormously because the US decided to pursue OBL hunt through polio vaccination campaigns at the expense of the lives of Pakistani children in the tribal areas. Similarly, the US State Department on record funded the Sunni Tehreek to mobilise and conduct rallies against the Taliban and issue fatwas in what is a gross politicisation of Barelvis in Pakistan, the effects of which we can observe today.

But this securitisation of development is nothing new. This is constitutive of the very philosophy of the US foreign assistance to the developing world. For instance, The US Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 clearly states that aid is to be used to promote “the foreign policy, security and general welfare of the United States”. This is then backed with a historical precedence of the Marshal Plan during the Cold War where over 5% of the funds were directed to the CIA to run its covert programmes in the Western European countries to sabotage pro-Soviet governments, labour unions and influence the foreign policy and public perception through propaganda. The CIA and USAID have worked more closely than what may appear to us on the surface, and it is unreasonable to believe that the trend has somehow now changed especially at a time when the US faces a non-traditional security threat that requires what Joseph Nye Jr calls the ‘smart power’ — a comprehensive use of military, diplomacy and development aid to achieve US national security goals.

The politicisation of development is another product of this non-traditional security-development nexus approach by the US. Through the INGOs, the US and many other governments are known to buy influence in the developing countries like Pakistan. For example, if we look at the base level USAID data, one of the main policy think tanks in Islamabad, founded and headed by a senior member of a major political party, received $605,000 funding from USAID through NED to work on democracy-related programmes in the country between 2011 and 2017. What is more striking is that while the politician in question was Pakistan’s diplomat to the United States, the think tank continued to receive $260,000 from USAID — a serious conflict of interest that went unchecked. Similarly, another educational trust fund operating in K-P that lists senior politicians of a notable political party as Board of Directors also received $373,182 between 2010 and 2015 from USAID through NED.

With all due respect to the seasoned politicians in question, and I appropriate no allegations of misuse of their authority, the fact remains that there are no ‘free lunches’ in matters of global politics. The very fact that their organisations receive funding from the US government is self-explanatory to how INGOs try to exert influence through direct and indirect means. This is in line with the several academic studies that look at the donor funding through the neocolonial political lens that enables Western states to exert influence over the local elite.

While there are many other facets to the INGOs debate, there is very little question that many such INGOs unfortunately are vulnerable to imperial pressures and therefore provide a platform to serve Western political and security agendas, that often run contrary to the national security and development vision of the recipient states. In that context for Pakistan to suspend INGOs given especially its experiences with Raymond Davis, drone strikes and polio vaccination controversies is almost entirely understandable and not a product of unfounded conspiracy theories.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2018.

Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1869178/6-the-politics-of-ingos/

@django @PakSword @RealNapster
 

PakSword

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The politics of INGOs
By Hussain Nadim
Published: December 18, 2018
81SHARES
SHARE TWEET EMAIL
The writer is a PhD candidate and Director of South Asia Study Group at the University of Sydney. He tweets @HNadim87

Pakistan has had a troubled relation with the INGOs. This is especially since the passage of the KLB Act that allowed USAID to directly fund INGOs in Pakistan creating an anxiety within the security establishment. On the surface, it may appear as the state trying to curb democracy and maintain control but the issue is much deeper than that and is not exclusive to Pakistan. Over 96 countries around the world including India, Russia, China and Israel have in the past restricted the operations of INGOs and NGOs inside their borders identifying them as a challenge to their national sovereignty and security.

The real question here is if this security anxiety is part of the developing world paranoia — what many Western observers condescendingly attribute as the ‘conspiracy mindset’ or does this security anxiety have legs to stand?

Needless to say that not all INGOs are peddling an agenda, but what is also true is that there are many INGOs that are indeed a cause for concern. Hence, this anxiety of the Pakistan government is not unfounded and has its roots in the US strategy that integrates security and development into a policy nexus to achieve its strategic interests in the developing world through a ‘whole of government’ approach. This is because since the end of the Cold War and especially since 9/11, the West has perceived the national security threat to emanate not from powerful states but largely from the weak states that allow non-state actors to thrive within their borders. Therefore, the US policy integrated security and development as a strategy to deliver counter-terrorism and insurgency goals in these fragile states where poverty and terrorism appeared to reinforce global insecurity. Part of this required collecting raw intelligence from ground and conducting covert operations, the other part was to win hearts and minds through development assistance — essentially to buy influence that would support the US strategic aims in the region.

Development sector including INGOs and NGOs in many cases, thus, play a critical role albeit unconsciously as a platform to deliver American strategic goals in what Mary Kaldor refers to as the new style of wars. The result? We have an entire development agenda both securitised and politicised to serve the interests of the Western powers. For instance, the polio campaign in Pakistan has suffered enormously because the US decided to pursue OBL hunt through polio vaccination campaigns at the expense of the lives of Pakistani children in the tribal areas. Similarly, the US State Department on record funded the Sunni Tehreek to mobilise and conduct rallies against the Taliban and issue fatwas in what is a gross politicisation of Barelvis in Pakistan, the effects of which we can observe today.

But this securitisation of development is nothing new. This is constitutive of the very philosophy of the US foreign assistance to the developing world. For instance, The US Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 clearly states that aid is to be used to promote “the foreign policy, security and general welfare of the United States”. This is then backed with a historical precedence of the Marshal Plan during the Cold War where over 5% of the funds were directed to the CIA to run its covert programmes in the Western European countries to sabotage pro-Soviet governments, labour unions and influence the foreign policy and public perception through propaganda. The CIA and USAID have worked more closely than what may appear to us on the surface, and it is unreasonable to believe that the trend has somehow now changed especially at a time when the US faces a non-traditional security threat that requires what Joseph Nye Jr calls the ‘smart power’ — a comprehensive use of military, diplomacy and development aid to achieve US national security goals.

The politicisation of development is another product of this non-traditional security-development nexus approach by the US. Through the INGOs, the US and many other governments are known to buy influence in the developing countries like Pakistan. For example, if we look at the base level USAID data, one of the main policy think tanks in Islamabad, founded and headed by a senior member of a major political party, received $605,000 funding from USAID through NED to work on democracy-related programmes in the country between 2011 and 2017. What is more striking is that while the politician in question was Pakistan’s diplomat to the United States, the think tank continued to receive $260,000 from USAID — a serious conflict of interest that went unchecked. Similarly, another educational trust fund operating in K-P that lists senior politicians of a notable political party as Board of Directors also received $373,182 between 2010 and 2015 from USAID through NED.

With all due respect to the seasoned politicians in question, and I appropriate no allegations of misuse of their authority, the fact remains that there are no ‘free lunches’ in matters of global politics. The very fact that their organisations receive funding from the US government is self-explanatory to how INGOs try to exert influence through direct and indirect means. This is in line with the several academic studies that look at the donor funding through the neocolonial political lens that enables Western states to exert influence over the local elite.

While there are many other facets to the INGOs debate, there is very little question that many such INGOs unfortunately are vulnerable to imperial pressures and therefore provide a platform to serve Western political and security agendas, that often run contrary to the national security and development vision of the recipient states. In that context for Pakistan to suspend INGOs given especially its experiences with Raymond Davis, drone strikes and polio vaccination controversies is almost entirely understandable and not a product of unfounded conspiracy theories.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2018.

Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1869178/6-the-politics-of-ingos/

@django @PakSword @RealNapster
I read this article earlier today.. There are some valid notes in this..
 

war&peace

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Kick out all INGOs and monitor all monetary channels and activities of these NGO.
Each NGO must follow the rules of the state. It should report all its activities to LEAs be open to scrutiny and provide the verifiable record of all its income and spendings. Further, no foreigners should be hired to get in contact with the local people directly. Anything activity beyond the stated role must result in an immediate ban.
 

django

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The politics of INGOs
By Hussain Nadim
Published: December 18, 2018
81SHARES
SHARE TWEET EMAIL
The writer is a PhD candidate and Director of South Asia Study Group at the University of Sydney. He tweets @HNadim87

Pakistan has had a troubled relation with the INGOs. This is especially since the passage of the KLB Act that allowed USAID to directly fund INGOs in Pakistan creating an anxiety within the security establishment. On the surface, it may appear as the state trying to curb democracy and maintain control but the issue is much deeper than that and is not exclusive to Pakistan. Over 96 countries around the world including India, Russia, China and Israel have in the past restricted the operations of INGOs and NGOs inside their borders identifying them as a challenge to their national sovereignty and security.

The real question here is if this security anxiety is part of the developing world paranoia — what many Western observers condescendingly attribute as the ‘conspiracy mindset’ or does this security anxiety have legs to stand?

Needless to say that not all INGOs are peddling an agenda, but what is also true is that there are many INGOs that are indeed a cause for concern. Hence, this anxiety of the Pakistan government is not unfounded and has its roots in the US strategy that integrates security and development into a policy nexus to achieve its strategic interests in the developing world through a ‘whole of government’ approach. This is because since the end of the Cold War and especially since 9/11, the West has perceived the national security threat to emanate not from powerful states but largely from the weak states that allow non-state actors to thrive within their borders. Therefore, the US policy integrated security and development as a strategy to deliver counter-terrorism and insurgency goals in these fragile states where poverty and terrorism appeared to reinforce global insecurity. Part of this required collecting raw intelligence from ground and conducting covert operations, the other part was to win hearts and minds through development assistance — essentially to buy influence that would support the US strategic aims in the region.

Development sector including INGOs and NGOs in many cases, thus, play a critical role albeit unconsciously as a platform to deliver American strategic goals in what Mary Kaldor refers to as the new style of wars. The result? We have an entire development agenda both securitised and politicised to serve the interests of the Western powers. For instance, the polio campaign in Pakistan has suffered enormously because the US decided to pursue OBL hunt through polio vaccination campaigns at the expense of the lives of Pakistani children in the tribal areas. Similarly, the US State Department on record funded the Sunni Tehreek to mobilise and conduct rallies against the Taliban and issue fatwas in what is a gross politicisation of Barelvis in Pakistan, the effects of which we can observe today.

But this securitisation of development is nothing new. This is constitutive of the very philosophy of the US foreign assistance to the developing world. For instance, The US Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 clearly states that aid is to be used to promote “the foreign policy, security and general welfare of the United States”. This is then backed with a historical precedence of the Marshal Plan during the Cold War where over 5% of the funds were directed to the CIA to run its covert programmes in the Western European countries to sabotage pro-Soviet governments, labour unions and influence the foreign policy and public perception through propaganda. The CIA and USAID have worked more closely than what may appear to us on the surface, and it is unreasonable to believe that the trend has somehow now changed especially at a time when the US faces a non-traditional security threat that requires what Joseph Nye Jr calls the ‘smart power’ — a comprehensive use of military, diplomacy and development aid to achieve US national security goals.

The politicisation of development is another product of this non-traditional security-development nexus approach by the US. Through the INGOs, the US and many other governments are known to buy influence in the developing countries like Pakistan. For example, if we look at the base level USAID data, one of the main policy think tanks in Islamabad, founded and headed by a senior member of a major political party, received $605,000 funding from USAID through NED to work on democracy-related programmes in the country between 2011 and 2017. What is more striking is that while the politician in question was Pakistan’s diplomat to the United States, the think tank continued to receive $260,000 from USAID — a serious conflict of interest that went unchecked. Similarly, another educational trust fund operating in K-P that lists senior politicians of a notable political party as Board of Directors also received $373,182 between 2010 and 2015 from USAID through NED.

With all due respect to the seasoned politicians in question, and I appropriate no allegations of misuse of their authority, the fact remains that there are no ‘free lunches’ in matters of global politics. The very fact that their organisations receive funding from the US government is self-explanatory to how INGOs try to exert influence through direct and indirect means. This is in line with the several academic studies that look at the donor funding through the neocolonial political lens that enables Western states to exert influence over the local elite.

While there are many other facets to the INGOs debate, there is very little question that many such INGOs unfortunately are vulnerable to imperial pressures and therefore provide a platform to serve Western political and security agendas, that often run contrary to the national security and development vision of the recipient states. In that context for Pakistan to suspend INGOs given especially its experiences with Raymond Davis, drone strikes and polio vaccination controversies is almost entirely understandable and not a product of unfounded conspiracy theories.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2018.

Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1869178/6-the-politics-of-ingos/

@django @PakSword @RealNapster
Expel these foreign NGOs they have been heavily infiltrated without them even knowing, we live in a tough neighbourhood, security is of paramount importance.Kudos Zibago bhai
 

Reichsmarschall

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The politics of INGOs
By Hussain Nadim
Published: December 18, 2018
81SHARES
SHARE TWEET EMAIL
The writer is a PhD candidate and Director of South Asia Study Group at the University of Sydney. He tweets @HNadim87

Pakistan has had a troubled relation with the INGOs. This is especially since the passage of the KLB Act that allowed USAID to directly fund INGOs in Pakistan creating an anxiety within the security establishment. On the surface, it may appear as the state trying to curb democracy and maintain control but the issue is much deeper than that and is not exclusive to Pakistan. Over 96 countries around the world including India, Russia, China and Israel have in the past restricted the operations of INGOs and NGOs inside their borders identifying them as a challenge to their national sovereignty and security.

The real question here is if this security anxiety is part of the developing world paranoia — what many Western observers condescendingly attribute as the ‘conspiracy mindset’ or does this security anxiety have legs to stand?

Needless to say that not all INGOs are peddling an agenda, but what is also true is that there are many INGOs that are indeed a cause for concern. Hence, this anxiety of the Pakistan government is not unfounded and has its roots in the US strategy that integrates security and development into a policy nexus to achieve its strategic interests in the developing world through a ‘whole of government’ approach. This is because since the end of the Cold War and especially since 9/11, the West has perceived the national security threat to emanate not from powerful states but largely from the weak states that allow non-state actors to thrive within their borders. Therefore, the US policy integrated security and development as a strategy to deliver counter-terrorism and insurgency goals in these fragile states where poverty and terrorism appeared to reinforce global insecurity. Part of this required collecting raw intelligence from ground and conducting covert operations, the other part was to win hearts and minds through development assistance — essentially to buy influence that would support the US strategic aims in the region.

Development sector including INGOs and NGOs in many cases, thus, play a critical role albeit unconsciously as a platform to deliver American strategic goals in what Mary Kaldor refers to as the new style of wars. The result? We have an entire development agenda both securitised and politicised to serve the interests of the Western powers. For instance, the polio campaign in Pakistan has suffered enormously because the US decided to pursue OBL hunt through polio vaccination campaigns at the expense of the lives of Pakistani children in the tribal areas. Similarly, the US State Department on record funded the Sunni Tehreek to mobilise and conduct rallies against the Taliban and issue fatwas in what is a gross politicisation of Barelvis in Pakistan, the effects of which we can observe today.

But this securitisation of development is nothing new. This is constitutive of the very philosophy of the US foreign assistance to the developing world. For instance, The US Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 clearly states that aid is to be used to promote “the foreign policy, security and general welfare of the United States”. This is then backed with a historical precedence of the Marshal Plan during the Cold War where over 5% of the funds were directed to the CIA to run its covert programmes in the Western European countries to sabotage pro-Soviet governments, labour unions and influence the foreign policy and public perception through propaganda. The CIA and USAID have worked more closely than what may appear to us on the surface, and it is unreasonable to believe that the trend has somehow now changed especially at a time when the US faces a non-traditional security threat that requires what Joseph Nye Jr calls the ‘smart power’ — a comprehensive use of military, diplomacy and development aid to achieve US national security goals.

The politicisation of development is another product of this non-traditional security-development nexus approach by the US. Through the INGOs, the US and many other governments are known to buy influence in the developing countries like Pakistan. For example, if we look at the base level USAID data, one of the main policy think tanks in Islamabad, founded and headed by a senior member of a major political party, received $605,000 funding from USAID through NED to work on democracy-related programmes in the country between 2011 and 2017. What is more striking is that while the politician in question was Pakistan’s diplomat to the United States, the think tank continued to receive $260,000 from USAID — a serious conflict of interest that went unchecked. Similarly, another educational trust fund operating in K-P that lists senior politicians of a notable political party as Board of Directors also received $373,182 between 2010 and 2015 from USAID through NED.

With all due respect to the seasoned politicians in question, and I appropriate no allegations of misuse of their authority, the fact remains that there are no ‘free lunches’ in matters of global politics. The very fact that their organisations receive funding from the US government is self-explanatory to how INGOs try to exert influence through direct and indirect means. This is in line with the several academic studies that look at the donor funding through the neocolonial political lens that enables Western states to exert influence over the local elite.

While there are many other facets to the INGOs debate, there is very little question that many such INGOs unfortunately are vulnerable to imperial pressures and therefore provide a platform to serve Western political and security agendas, that often run contrary to the national security and development vision of the recipient states. In that context for Pakistan to suspend INGOs given especially its experiences with Raymond Davis, drone strikes and polio vaccination controversies is almost entirely understandable and not a product of unfounded conspiracy theories.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2018.

Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1869178/6-the-politics-of-ingos/

@django @PakSword @RealNapster
is that the same guy(hashim nadim)who was recently attacked by Hamdani and other khooni brigade?
 

war&peace

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Expel these foreign NGOs they have been heavily infiltrated without them even knowing, we live in a tough neighbourhood, security is of paramount importance.Kudos Zibago bhai
Our approach should have been proactive. It is not so difficult to imagine that any such facilities can be and will be exploited by hostile agencies.. it is just given. So we should have eliminated such possibilities before anyone one could exploit. State of Pakistan must remember that anything that can be abused or misused will be abused and misused. You simply do not leave loopholes in the system and be on the mercy of the enemies. Securing all frontiers is the state's responsibility.
 
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django

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Our approach should have been proactive. It is not so difficult to imagine that any such facilities can be and will be exploited by hostile agencies.. it is just given. So we should have eliminated such possibilities before anyone one could exploit. State of Pakistan must remember that anything can be abused or misused will abused and misused. You simply do not leave loopholes in the system and be on the mercy of the enemies. Securing all frontiers is the state's responsibility.
During PPP Rehman Malik tenure as IM this issue magnified at unprecedented level, Gen Shuja Pasha did a good job of cleaning things up, hopefully the folks at ISI will be on top of things.Kudos bhai
 

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