Govt okays ‘Deeni Madaris Reforms’ to streamline seminaries


–Edu ministry to set up 12 regional offices to facilitate seminaries, project’s cost stands at Rs580m

ISLAMABAD:The government has approved ‘Deeni Madaris Reforms’ to streamline religious seminaries and keep a check on their finance in line with the Financial Action Task Force objectives.

Under the approved reforms, all the seminaries will be registered with the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and the ministry will also facilitate the said madrassas in the opening of bank accounts at the designated branches.

And if they didn’t comply with the terms of conditions of the ministry, their registration would be canceled. In case, the seminaries fail to register with the education ministry, they will be sealed.

The registered seminaries will be allowed to enroll foreign students and the education ministry will facilitate them in obtaining Pakistani visas for a maximum period of nine years in line with prevalent rules and regulations.

According to documents, the cabinet considered the summary titled ‘Deeni Madaris Reforms’ dated September 1, 2019, submitted by the education ministry and approved it in principle.

The interior ministry opposed the reforms; however, the cabinet gave go-ahead on a condition that the ministry would also take all stakeholders on board.

Sources aware of the matter informed that the ministry will develop 12 regional offices in major cities, namely Multan, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Sukkur, Quetta, Loralai, Muzaffarabad, Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, and Gilgit.

Similarly, the Directorate of Religious Education will be established. And, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training will require Rs580 million during the current financial year 2019-2020, they added.

It is relevant to mention that the current government had earlier tasked Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training to introduce ‘Deeni Madaris Reforms’.

In order to develop consensus, Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training had held a number of meetings with the representatives of Ittehad Tanzeemat-e-Madaris Pakistan (ITMP) under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training.

After detailed deliberations on objectives and issues of reformation of seminaries, a final agreement was unanimously signed on August 29, 2019.