An ablution for seminaries


48 foreign students arrested from seminaries in Punjab

The police rounded up 48 foreign students from registered and unregistered seminaries during a search operation Saturday in various cities and towns of Punjab province.

The operation was planned after “suspicious activity” was noted in a few madrassas, said official sources.

More than 10 madrassas were raided and several foreigners were taken into custody, a police source said, revealing that a majority of the seminaries were unregistered.

Raids were carried out various cities and towns of Punjab including it capital Lahore, Faisalabad, Chakwala and Dera Ghazi Khan.

As many as 25 foreigners were arrested from Lahore alone, source said.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has confirmed raids and arrest of foreigner students allegedly involved in “unwanted” and terror activities in the country.

Visas of most of suspected students were expired while some of them did not possess any passport as they had entered in the country illegally.

These students belong to Arab countries, Afghanistan, Middle East and Central Asia, sources said.

The arrested students were shifted to undisclosed location for investigations, sources said adding that embassies of concerned countries would be consulted regarding their citizens.

The operation comes at a time when there have been two terrorist attacks being carried out across the country. There are around 24,000 registered madrassas in Pakistan. There are countless more unregistered seminaries. It was also recently reported that 90 percent of foreigners studying in religious seminaries across the Punjab had expired visas.