Parents concerned over Hafsa operation threat
PESHAWAR, July 2(Dawn): Parents of girls studying at the Jamia Hafsa have
expressed concern over President Gen Pervez Musharraf's warning about launching
an operation against the Lal Masjid brigade and appealed to him to provide
protection to their daughters instead. Parents of three girl students hailing
from Upper Dir district said that they had sent their daughters to the madressah
to receive religious education, and demanded their safe return.
President Musharraf's responsibility to provide protection to our daughters," a
mother of an eight-year-old child enrolled at the madressah claimed.
majority of the female students hail from various districts of the NWFP and
adjoining tribal areas. More than ten girls from Upper Dir were sent to Jamia
Hafsa for religious education, their parents informed.
When the Lal
Masjid crisis began a few months back, students between the ages of eight and
nine years were sent back home by the Jamia Hafsa administration, they
"We used to stay inside the building all day fearing attacks from
security forces. Many young girls used to cry at night, so we were sent back
home," said a former eight-year old Jamia Hafsa student who returned after
spending only two months there. She was now studying at a seminary near her
"Only older students wielding sticks were allowed to go to the roof
top," said another former student.
"Parents prefer admitting their
daughters at Jamia Hafsa due to the nominal fee charges that ranges between
Rs200-Rs500 for which they receive religious education till higher level," said
Mohammad Islam, a father of an 18 year old girl studying at the madressah for
the last three years.
Mr Islam claimed that he had tried to bring back
"Some two months back when a crackdown on the seminary was
feared, I went to Islamabad to bring her home but she refused and decided to
stay there," Mr Islam said while talking on the phone from
"Musharraf will do himself great harm if he decides to launch an
operation against the madressah and harms our girls," a mother of a student
She threatened that if their daughter were harmed then they would
send more of their daughters to wage 'jihad' against the government.
case an operation is launched, then for each daughter sacrificed in that
incident we will sacrifice three more in the jihad against the Musharraf
government," she warned.
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