Seminaries on the rise

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The mushroom growth of illegal seminaries continues unabated in the federal capital under the nose of the city administration with the bosses blaming each other for taking no initiative to stop this trend which may threaten 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 joined hands to regulate the establishment of seminaries in the federal capital and are just passing the buck to one another,” an official source said.
The source told Pakistan Today that presently there were over 300 seminaries in the urban and rural areas of the city while the ICT administration had registered around 155. “Of these registered seminaries, 47 are in G sectors, 23 in I sectors, 13 in F sectors, three in E sectors, two in H sectors and 69 in ICT rural areas,” he said.
The official said that total strength of the students studying in these seminaries was 15,903. “They are also registered with Wafaaq, Tanzeem, Tanzeemul Madaras and Jamaat-e-Islami,” he added.
Deputy Commissioner Amir Ali Ahmad said that Wafaaq and Tanzeem had set up over 295 seminaries in the city and the ICT administration had registered around 156 of them. “The ICT administration was assigned the task of registering the seminaries, but it is the responsibility of the CDA to take action against the illegal ones,” he said.
When asked if there was any law to regulate establishment of seminaries in the ICT, he said: “There is no law to define guideline for setting up seminaries in the city.” He added the CDA had allotted plots to the seminaries, so it should make a law in this regard.
CDA spokesman Ramzan Sajid said the civic body had so far allotted plots to six seminaries and added there was no specific law regarding the establishment of seminaries. He, however, said under the CDA by-laws, construction of eight to 10 mosques had been allowed in a sector. He confirmed illegal construction of a number of seminaries in the city and said the CDA had not taken action against them fearing reaction that could cause law and order situation. An Auqaf Department official said they were only registering seminaries to assist other departments. He added the government had banned setting up of new seminaries in the city’s urban areas.