No check on illegal madrassas in Islamabad

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ISLAMABAD – Illegal madrassas continue to mushroom in the federal capital right under the administration’s nose with the bosses blaming each other for not taking an initiative to stop the growth which might threaten the civic life on the pattern of Lal Masjid if not checked in time.
The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Auqaf Department have not put their heads together to make a law to regulate the construction of madrassas in the federal capital and just keep passing the buck to each other.
An official source told Pakistan Today on Monday that currently there were over 300 seminaries in the urban and rural areas of the city. The ICT administration has registered around 155. “Of these registered madrassas, 47 are in G sector, 23 in I sector, 13 in F sector, three in E sector, two in H sector and 69 in ICT rural areas,” he said.
The official said the total number of students studying in these seminaries was 15,903, also registered with wafaaq and tanzeem including Wafaul Madara Salfi, Tazeemul Madaras and Jamiat-e-Islami. Deputy Commissioner (DC) Amir Ali Ahmad said various wafaaq and tanzeem had constructed over 295 seminaries in the city and the ICT administration had registered around 156.
“The ICT administration is assigned the task of registering seminaries but it is the responsibility of the CDA to take action against the illegal ones,” he said. Asked if there was any law to regulate the setting up of these seminaries in the ICT, he said, “There is no law to define the guideline for the establishment of seminaries in the city.”
However, he said the CDA had allotted plots to the seminaries, therefore it should also make a law as it was the development authority of the city. CDA spokesman Ramzan Sajjid said the CDA had so far allotted plots to six seminaries, adding that there was no specific law on establishment of seminaries.
However, he said under the CDA by-laws the construction of eight to 10 mosques was allowed in a sector. He confirmed that a number of seminaries had been constructed illegally but the CDA could not take action against them because of a reaction that might cause a law and order situation in the city.
Auqaf Deputy Director Malik Afsar said the department was only registering seminaries to assist other departments. He said the government had imposed a ban on the construction of new seminaries in the city’s urban areas.