145 KP seminaries classified 'highly sensitive' in govt report

Published March 2, 2015
Provincial government report shows registration status, enrolment numbers and 'sensitivity' status of madrassas in the KP region. AP/File
Provincial government report shows registration status, enrolment numbers and 'sensitivity' status of madrassas in the KP region. AP/File

PESHAWAR: A report compiled by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government has revealed that 145 madrassas in the province fall in the 'highly sensitive' category.

A document titled 'District-wise details of Madaris' obtained by DawnNews maintains that of the 3,010 seminaries in the terror-hit province, 26% are unregistered.

It also reveals that in the KP region, 57% of the Category B (highly sensitive) madrassas are in Tank district, which has a total of 123 madrassas.

Madrassas in KP are classified as either Category B 'highly sensitive' or Category C 'sensitive'. There are no seminaries falling into either Category A 'potential threat' or Category D 'non extremist' madrassas.

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Bannu has the largest number of madrassas in the province at 241, while Peshawar comes in at second place on the list with 232 madrassas. Out of the 4,608 foreign students in KP, 2,454 study in madrassas in Peshawar which also has the highest number of foreign teachers in KP at 53.

Also read: Teachers get gun training after Peshawar massacre

The government plans to bring all of its religious seminaries under the national education system within one year following a landmark security policy aimed at combating extremism.

KP seminary enrollment status

KP Information Minister Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, while talking to Dawn, said the government will not tolerate unregistered madrassas in the province. Speaking of which, Ghani said that KP Home Department has already been notified to take action against such unregistered seminaries.

The provincial information minister further informed that only those foreigner students — whether Afghan or other nationals — will be allowed to study who possess proper legal documents. “Action will be taken against illegal foreigner students,” he asserted.

The first “National Internal Security Policy” released last year said that some of the country's 22,000 madrassas are responsible for spreading extremism.

Read: Madressah & education reform

Senators and a federal minister in December lashed out at the government for what they called its “inaction” after a deadly attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar left 145 people — most of them children — dead. The attack shook the country's conscience and intensified the military and government's campaign to uproot terrorist networks across the country, giving birth to a 'National Action Plan' (NAP) that includes the formation of military courts to try terrorists as well as close monitoring of seminaries.

The government has admitted that despite the presence of laws monitoring the working of religious seminaries, it often becomes difficult to trace the money transacted to madrassas from abroad.

“Some madrassas are receiving financial support from Muslim countries. However, it is often difficult to trace the transaction of such remittances,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said last month.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently directed the provincial governments to implement the NAP and take stern action against terrorist organisations and proceed speedily on those death penalty cases in which mercy petitions have been rejected.

Presiding over a meeting of the Balochistan Apex Committee held here on Wednesday, he said religious seminaries and organisations involved in terrorist activities should be identified and proceeded against.

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