Purge of Doctors Without Borders Was a Permit Issue, Pakistan Says
The Interior Ministry confirmed on Thursday that it had ordered Doctors Without Borders to leave Pakistan’s impoverished Kurram tribal region, saying the medical charity’s permit to work there expired two years ago.
Pakistan’s explanation for the order came a day after Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, said the government had refused to renew its permission to work in the Kurram region and had given it a week to leave.
The charity’s announcement, which said no reason had been given for the expulsion order, underlined the increasing difficulties foreigners face while working in Pakistan.
The state minister for interior affairs, Muhammad Tallal Chaudry, said that Doctors Without Borders had not been barred from working elsewhere in the country, including in the Bajaur Agency of the tribal areas, and in the provinces of Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, but that it would no longer be allowed to operate in Kurram, where it has been working since 2004.