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Pakistan Orders At Least 10 Foreign Charities To Close Down, Group Says

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was earlier forced out of Pakistan as the government sets new rules for foreign-funded groups.

Pakistan has ordered at least 10 international charities to close down, rejecting their applications to reregister under stricter new regulations for foreign-funded groups.

The Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF), which represents 63 international aid groups, on December 13 said at least 10 members had received "letters of rejection" from the Ministry of Interior after applying under the new rules.

Among the groups likely to leave the country is the charity founded by hedge fund billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, the group said.

"We believe that we are one of more than 20 organizations whose registrations have been rejected," Jonathan Birchall, the lead communications officer for the Open Society Foundation, told the AFP news agency.

ActionAid, an international charity that supports women's rights and other causes, said it is also being forced to leave Pakistan.

Another major charity, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) -- which provides medical aid services -- on November 9 said it had been ordered to close its last remaining facility in the violence-plagued tribal region along the Afghan border.

Pakistani authorities have moved to force foreign-funded aid groups to reregister under 2-year-old regulations with stricter requirements than previously set down. AFP said Pakistani officials declined to comment.

Pakistan has shown increasing suspicion of international aid groups in recent years, accusing some of having links to foreign security services.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters