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ISLAMABAD: Over 16,000 people were arrested from all over the country for terrorism out of which more than 1,900 have been awarded punishment.

Replying to a question raised by Senator Mohammad Usman Khan Kakar about people arrested on charges of terrorism and their conviction during the Senate session on Wednesday, the interior ministry submitted a written reply in which it informed the house that 16,022 people were arrested in 2013-2017.

Their breakdown is 10,993 from Punjab, 2,728 from Sindh, 1,967 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 147 from Balochistan, 126 from Gilgit-Baltistan and 61 from the capital. Details regarding arrests of terrorists from Fata and Azad Kashmir were awaited.

The reply further stated that 2,525 people were convicted and awarded punishment. As many as 1,970 convicts are from Punjab, 255 from Sindh, 234 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 54 from Balochistan, 10 from Gilgit-Baltistan and 10 from Islamabad. Out of the 2,525, 376 were awarded death sentence.

In response to a question about missing persons cases registered all over the country raised by Senator Kakar, the interior ministry, in its written reply, said 171 missing persons cases were registered in the capital from January 1, 2009 to April 30, 2018. Out of these, 111 people were recovered and 60 are still missing.

The reply further added that information about missing persons from provinces and Fata was not available as they did not fall within the domain of the Islamabad Capital Territory.

To another question raised by Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani about registration of seminaries and reforms, the interior ministry said the seminaries’ data and registration forms were developed by Nacta in consultation with Ittehad-i-Tanzeemul Madaris Pakistan. These forms were finalised after getting input from provincial governments and intelligence agencies.

The ministry further said that a meeting was held on August 23, 2017 under the chairmanship of the interior minister which was attended by chief ministers of the four provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan, besides KP governor and AJK prime minister. The meeting decided that the provinces will coordinate with Nacta to complete registration of madressahs on the basis of the forms developed by Nacta.

In pursuance of this decision, Nacta held another meeting on Sept 7, 2017 with the relevant provincial departments.

It was agreed that all provinces will build a consensus on the proposal of placing the information received from the data collected and details of registration of madressahs under a single authority/department on a uniform format.

In order to discuss the progress made on registration and data collection of madressahs, a meeting was convened by Nacta on May 7, 2018 in Islamabad, the reply said, adding that Nacta had held two meetings with various stakeholders.

The interior ministry also gave a written reply to a question asked by Senator Chaudhry Tanvir Khan about foreigners purchasing property in Pakistan.

It stated that the ministry’s order issued in Sept 1984 provides a mechanism for purchase of property by foreigners.

The order states that “no foreigner shall, directly or indirectly, acquire land or any interest in land or landed property in Pakistan except with the previous permission in writing of the federal or provincial governments and in accordance with the conditions subject to which the permission is granted.”

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2018