Save the Children regrets expulsion order
13 September, 2012
ISLAMABAD: A global children's aid agency on Wednesday said it regretted Pakistan's government ordering staff to leave the country and denied it was ever involved in the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden.
Pakistan had ordered all Save the Children's foreign staff to leave the country within four weeks in the wake of accusations linking it to a fake vaccination programme launched to track down the al Qaeda chief.
However, local media quoted Interior Minister Rehman Malik as saying on Saturday that the organisation's expatriate staff members in the country would not be expelled. But Save the Children said in a statement on Wednesday that it had not received official confirmation of the seeming U-turn and would still send four expatriate workers home.
"Save the Children has not received written documentation (from the Interior Ministry) to support these statements," the charity said. It added: "Consequently, we are left with no option but to ask the four remaining expatriate staff members in Islamabad to leave the country by September 13".
"While we regret that these talented and committed humanitarian workers are leaving the country, our remaining 2,000 Pakistani staff members, including our senior management team in country, will ensure operations in Pakistan." Two of the foreign staff members were not in the country when the government issued the expulsion order.