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Mainstream, VOL LIV No 41 New Delhi October 1, 2016

Using NGOs to Pressure New Delhi, US Style

Monday 3 October 2016

by Hasan Hamidullah

The US is known to widely use NGOs to make foreign governments succumb to its pressure in promoting American interests at the cost of those countries’ national interests. This policy is practised in India as well.

During a conference in Bengaluru the noted NGO, Amnesty International, charged the Indian authorities with violating human rights in Jammu and Kashmir. That accusation came at a time when the Government of India was doing its best to prevent the conflict in J&K from spreading to large parts of the State; and the charge certainly did not contribute towards reduction of the prevailing tensions there. Such allegations are promptly exploited by Islamabad to reinforce Pakistan’s Kashmir policy and raise the issue of violation of human rights in order to back the separatists alongwith other means to enhance instability there.

Amnesty International has been involved in organising protests in Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and Ethiopia. In 2014 it used Nazi groups in Ukraine to prevent the National Police from restoring order in Kiev, the country’s capital. In 2016 this NGO criticised Ankara for its inability to cope with migration to Turkey.

Between 2012 and 2015 Amnesty International has received donations (ranging from 800,000 to 5000,000 Euros) from the US, European Community and Norway. And it is obvious the donors would like to see some “positive” out-come from their “investments” when it comes to their global interests.

India should see to it that regardless of their affiliation all NGOs operating on its territory are made to abide by its national legislation relating to the functioning of such organisations. It should also increase inter-national cooperation on the issue with other countries. The cooperation could be in the form of exchange of information in groups like the BRICS, SCO and other similar bodies whose members face the same problem of interference in their internal affairs through NGOs funded from abroad.