Registration of madrassas under National Action Plan to start in April

 28 Feb 2016 - 16:55

Registration of madrassas under National Action Plan to start in April

 

 

File photo of Pakistani boys reading the Quran at an Islamic school in Islamabad. AFP /Aamir Qureshi


ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan has decided to start the much-awaited registration of Islamic seminaries in April. The initiative was long overdue under the National Action Plan (NAP) and the government is considering a carrot and stick approach.
The madrassas that cooperate with the government and register voluntarily will be offered ‘incentives’ while those that refuse to cooperate will not be entitled to any ‘benefits’, officials said on Sunday, without further elaboration.
Before starting the initiative, the government will convene a meeting of all provincial chief ministers in March where they will be taken on board.
Sources said the Ittehad Tanzeem-ul-Madaris, which oversees thousands of religious institutions in the country, has now no issues with the registration of seminaries as the new policy includes its input.
Only a small group still has some reservations but all major stakeholders have agreed to registration, they added. Under the NAP devised after the 2014 Peshawar school massacre, the government had decided to streamline religious schools across the country.
Last year, the government had also started digital mapping of madrassas on agreed parameters with different seminary education authorities.
The geo-tagging of these institutions has been completed in the Islamabad Capital Territory and Punjab.
According to official documents, Sindh has so far mapped 80 per cent of the seminaries operating in the province with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Balochistan following behind with 75 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively.
These documents show the progress of NAP in the past six months.
The digital mapping of madrassas includes information on the location, especially its GPS coordinates and proximity to other places.
While the geo-tagging data contains only the physical location of the seminaries, the registration and data forms would include all sorts of information on the institutions’ faculties and bank accounts.
According to the progress report, 167 unregistered seminaries have been closed so far in Sindh, 13 in K-P and two in Punjab. None of the seminaries have been closed over suspicions of fuelling extremism.
About 190 madrassas were found to be funded from abroad with 147 located in Punjab, six in Sindh, seven in K-P and 30 in Balochistan.
The report also highlights a significant decline in terrorism and crime in Karachi. Targeted killing have gone down by 53 per cent, homicides by 50 per cent, terror attacks by 80 per cent and robbery cases have come down by 30 per cent.
About 69,179 criminals have been arrested in the past six months, including 890 terrorists, 676 proclaimed offenders and 10,426 absconders, 124 kidnappers and 545 extortionists. Around 16,304 weapons have been seized during the ongoing Karachi operation. 

Internews