Where are the Sindhi Organizations when other Pakistani NGOs showcase their Wares?
By: Khalid Hashmani
October 2009 — Washington, D.C. has seen many visitors from Pakistani NGOs in the last two weeks. They were here to secure funding for their pet projects under the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009. A State Department official commented that no final decision has been made whether the new assistance will be channeled mainly through the Pakistani Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or through the traditional way through USAid department with focus on government-to-government transactions. The Pakistani NGOs, some in collaboration with their US partners showcasing their capabilities and marketing their expertise. The irony is that none of these organizations have any roots in Sindh or Balochistan, where Human Development Index (HDI) is one of the lowest in the world. None of the NGOs officials making presentations had any abilities in the Sindhi and Balochi languages; much of their focus was securing projects in Sindh. A presenter even commented that the Punjab Government does not want much privatization of their public education system. Many in the local Washington Sindhi community are fearful that just as Islamabad government officials have not been fair in distribution of resources to Sindh and Balochistan, so will these Islamabad-based NGOs would divert major portion of the new US funding for their pet projects at the cost of Sindh and Balochistan. In order to ensure that such malicious designs do not succeed, this article provides information about these NGOs, about their claims that they are already running many private schools, health centers, and micro finance projects in Sindh. It is hoped that people of Sindh and Balochistan would be diligent and help verify whether or not such claims are true. Further, in the event that non-Sindhi organizations do win major projects in Sindh, Sindhis ought to monitor their performance and report on any discrepancies to ensure that true beneficiaries of the funds allocated to any projects in Sindh would be Sindhis.