ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Monday defended Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government's budget allocation of Rs300 million for religious seminary Darul Uloom Haqqania.

In an interview with Geo News, Imran Khan said the funds and support will help the seminary students assimilate in our society, bring them in to the mainstream and keep them away from radicalisation.

"The same Darul Uloom was supported and financed by ANP, even the late Wali Khan went there," said the PTI chief.

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Imran elaborated that when the Taliban were opposing the anti-polio campaign in the province and were killing polio workers, Maulana Samiul Haq (head of Darul Uloom Haqqania) supported him and launched a polio-immunisation campaign.

'Extortion calls coming from Afghanistan'

Answering a question regarding the law and order situation in KP, Imran Khan claimed that calls for extortion come from the neighbouring Afghanistan.

"This is a problem and we are working with ISI on this issue, these calls come from Afghan registered SIMs, we also discussed this issue with the Afghan ambassador," said the PTI chief.

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He said that KP government's issue is that the province is surrounded by federally administered tribal areas (FATA) and the KP administration needs Frontier Constabulary to prevent miscreants from tribal areas from entering the province.

"I think that FATA's status should be changed and it should be made a part of KP," said Imran Khan, adding that KP cannot see peace until FATA becomes peaceful.

The KP government set aside a grant of Rs300 million for the construction and rehabilitation of the Darul Uloom Haqqania in Akora, Khattak, in the annual provincial budget for the upcoming fiscal year angering both Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

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.

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