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Secretariat Pakistan NGOs Forum
Secretary: Prof. M.Ismail
Email: [email protected]
# 62 , Street # 34, Block- H, Soan Garden, Islamabad, Pakistan
Mission: To create conducive working Environment for NGOs in Pakistan
Pakistan NGOs Forum is an Apex body of Five Networks of NGOs
working in Pakistan with membership of more than 5,000 CBOs and NGOs in
The idea of PNF was born when, in 1994, the government decided to enact a law which was designed to coercively control Non-Governmental Organization. In this connection, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) all over Pakistan expressed their apprehension about the new law. CSOs were apprehensive that the new law can adversely affect the positive development work of such organizations. So the concept of a unified, collective and representative CSO platform was born with the aim to shield against negative portrayal of CSOs and draconian governmental actions. While this concept was still being discussed and debated the Government unveiled the Social Welfare Agencies Control Act 1994. This act allowed the state machinery to interfere in the work of CSOs and provided for putting limitations on CSO activities. For the sake of collective voice against this law, the need for a representation platform of CSOs became inevitable.
Some organizations stressed the need for provincial networks. After sheer hard work by CSOs, the first such meeting was held in Sindh. Approximately 340 representatives of CSOs attended this meeting. In this meeting a coalition of CSOs was formed in Sindh which was named as Sindh NGOs Federation (SINGOF). Similarly, 400 organizations formed provincial network in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan by October 1994. A coalition of Rawalpindi and Islamabad based CSOs was also formed
The representatives of these five coalitions interacted with each other and exchanged notes. They also held negotiations with Minister for Social Welfare and presented an alternate draft of law to the Government. During these interactions, Government representatives promised that the new legislation will be passed with the consent of people at large and views of CSOs would also be disseminated to a larger population. CSOs, in these circumstances strongly felt the need of a unified national platform, which should not only present the point of view of CSOs but also should lay down a definite code of conduct for its members. Consequently in May 1995, a unified national platform was created. This forum allowed equal participation to all five regional/provincial coalitions; it was called Pakistan NGO Forum. The Provincial Coalitions are called SNI in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, BNGOF in Baluchistan, SNGOF in Sind, PNCC in Punjab and CORIN in the Federal Area.
PNF Executive Council
The PNF EC comprises of five members from each of the five coalescing units which make the total 25 members who participate in the discussion and decision – making process but there is only one vote for each unit.
The EC meets once a quarter and makes important policy decisions on how to steer the network according to the values laid down in the PNF Code of Conduct.. Emergency meetings may be called by any member on need basis.
PNF, as the apex body, is dependent on the five coalescing units to achieve the objectives for which it was created.
Mechanism at Coalescing Unit (CU) level
At the CU level, decisions are taken by the members of the Working Council., an elected body, responsible for steering the coalition according to the byelaws laid down in the constitution, in their monthly meetings. It is mandatory to get these decisions endorsed by the Provincial Council which is a larger elected body.
Each CU operates through special committees general four in number as listed below:
The Working/ Provincial Council refers cases pertaining to violation of the network constitution and code of conduct to the Accountability Committee which submits its decision to the WC in the monthly meeting or, if the matter is urgent, to the CU Secretariat which disseminates it immediately among the members of the WC.
The Mediation Committee is created to help the WC resolve issues and conflicts that may arise between members from time to time.
Public Advocacy Campaigns
The NGOs coalitions observe and monitor closely political, economic and social developments that adversely affect individual/ organization’s freedom to function in a secure and healthy environment. They also note issues of public interest arising out of biases, discrimination and injustice in distribution and sharing of powers. As such, networks like PNF act as pressure groups to arrest discriminatory policies and persuade the various stakeholders in development to respect each other’s views.
PNF and its coalescing units operate through two levels at the time of public campaigns.
Members in their own individual capacity especially those who are specifically created for advocacy like the Human Rights groups hold emergency meetings and arrange protests at a central pointThose issues which have a long history and surface again and again are discussed in the WC of the respective province where it is occurring. The WC may constitute a committee to study the different aspect of the problem and submit a report within a fixed time frame. The report is shared among all stakeholders.