ICT administration seeks special branch’s help to ‘verify’ religious seminaries


ISLAMABAD: Islamabad administration has asked the special branch police to verify around 40 religious seminaries of the capital and find out whether they are working or affiliated with the prohibited organisation listed in United Nations Security Council (UNSC), a document revealed on Thursday.

According to the document, the administration has asked Police Special Branch Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Captain (r) Muhammad Ilyas to verify these 40 religious seminaries.

The Islamabad administration submitted a list of 40 madrasas to ensure that the said madrasas are not working with the UNSC listed prohibited organisations and also to make sure the working of these seminaries is supporting the objective of National Action Plan (NAP), explained the document available with Pakistan Today.

The document further said, “It is requested that a detailed report on the subject matter be sent to this office within three days so that further necessary action can be taken in accordance with law.”

 Following the list of UNSC, the interior ministry has issued a list of around 71 organisations in which 65 were declared banned and six have been put under observation.

A senior official of the administration told Pakistan Today that verification of said seminaries is essential so necessary action can be taken against them in order to implement NAP.

The official said that there are 374 religious seminaries functional in the federal capital out of which only 169 are registered and 205 are functioning illegally.

The last survey was conducted in March 2017 by the Islamabad administration, on the direction of the then interior minister.

After the survey 40 religious seminaries were enrolled in the Rs50 million government project, “Mainstreaming of religious seminaries” in order to bring the country’s religious seminaries in the mainstream education system to eliminate extremist tendencies.

Currently, 941 madrassa students are enrolled in this program. Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) is responsible for providing admission numbers, free textbooks, conducting exams annually, and issuing certificates.

The official said that after the verification of religious seminaries FDE and National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which the said seminaries will be given modern education.

The official further said that NCHD would notify a district steering committee to meet on a monthly or quarterly basis, or whenever found necessary to monitor the progress of the project.

The committee would be chaired by NCHD director general and will include officials from FDE, Capital Administration and Development Division and   Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training.

It is noted that monitoring of the ongoing project in these madrassas will help the authorities to keep strong vigilance on the other activities in madrassas to curtail extremism.