KHAR: The political authorities in Bajaur Agency on Wednesday claimed to have completed the long-awaited documentation of the religious seminaries operating in the region in order to ensure better education and facilities there.
Sources in the political administration told Dawn that important data of all the religious seminaries (Madressahs) operating in the agency had been collected during the process, which continued for over a year.
The sources said a joint committee of local administration and various religious organisations carried out the task, adding heads of seminaries showed full cooperation with the administration in the documentation process.
The sources disclosed that the political administration had also imposed a ban on establishing new seminaries across the region, saying those willing to do so should seek prior permission from the authorities concerned after submitting size of the land and other details for the purpose.
When contacted, Bajaur Agency Political Agent Mohammad Yahya Akhunzada confirmed to Dawn completion of data collection of religious seminaries. He said all 72 religious seminaries operating across the agency had been documented. However, he said the political administration wasn’t authorised to register the seminaries as the Societies Registration Act didn’t exist in the tribal areas. He said the collection of details of seminaries would help know the number of teachers and students as well as about the facilities being provided there.
He said his administration had formed several monitoring committees to keep close watch over the activities of seminaries.
SECURITY TIGHTENED: The authorities in Bajaur Agency tightened security of all public places in the region following the bomb blast in Khyber Agency’s Jamrud area on Tuesday that left at least 10 people dead and 20 others wounded.
Official sources said that the security measures had been taken to prevent any untoward incident in the region. They said that additional Levies personnel had been deployed at all official places across the agency. They said that the Levies force had been asked to search the visitors before their entry to official places.
The sources said that the administration had also ordered for installation of new walkthrough gates and security barriers at all official places in Khar.
An official of the political administration told Dawn here that the fresh security measures in the region had been taken in line with the instructions of Fata Secretariat. He said that jammers would also be installed at vehicles used by the senior officials.
Meanwhile, journalists in Bajaur Agency condemned the killing of their colleague Mehboob Shah Afridi in a bomb blast in Jamrud on Tuesday. They announced a three-day mourning over the incident. They called a meeting at the Bajaur Press Club here to condemn the incident.
The members of the press club attended the meeting, which was addressed by Habibullah Khan, Hasbanullah Khan, Mohammad Saleem, Anwarullah Khan and others.
They expressed concern over the growing incidents of violence and demanded of the government to provide protection to mediapersons. They paid tribute to Mr Afridi for his services in promotion of journalism in the tribal areas.
Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2016