PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Wednesday clarified a budgetary allocation of Rs300 million to the Haqqania seminary, saying the step was taken to bring the seminary into the mainstream.
The KP government set aside funds for the construction and rehabilitation of the Darul Uloom Haqqania in Akora, Khattak, in the annual provincial budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Giving details of the grant, Shah Farman, said the seminary does a "great service to the province by providing education" adding, "we want them to continue to provide this service".
Special Assistant to the KP Chief Minister on Information and Public Relations Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani said the move aimed to mainstream the seminary. "Around three million students are enrolled in these seminaries, where they are fed, sheltered and taken care of without any expense."
"Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has a vision to streamline all sorts of education systems into one system that seeks to bridge the appalling disconnect between the government and the seminary systems," Ghani said.
He added that a main chunk of the allocations will also be utilised for the construction and repair of the seminary's building.
"The provincial government is keen to enhance financial as well as technical assistance to religious schools in the province in order to bring them under the umbrella of the provincial education regime, and this step is the first in this direction."
The seminary, located in Nowshera district and currently run by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Sami chief Maulana Samiul Haq, has faced controversy in the past as its students have been accused of involvement in the murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
However, the seminary administration denied having any connection with the suspects.
Earlier this month, KP's finance minister said 160 new primary schools and 100 new secondary schools would be constructed in the province whereas 100 religious seminaries would be converted into primary schools.