Only 13,000 madressahs registered
RAWALPINDI, July 26: The ministry of religious affairs has so far
registered only 13,000 religious seminaries, while their actual number is
estimated to be over 200,000 across the country.
The interior ministry
has expressed concern over the issue as ministry of religious affairs does not
have a proper mechanism to determine the exact number of seminaries operating
The exact number of students studying in the country's
madressas is not yet known, as the ministry of religious affairs has so far
registered only those seminaries that house 30-40 students. The ministry
provided cursory figures to the interior ministry after the Madressah
Registration Ordinance was promulgated.
Officials in the ministry of
religious affairs told this scribe, on Tuesday that it was an uphill task for
the ministry to register religious seminaries, as there was no mechanism to
trace unregistered madressas.
They said there has been a sharp growth in
institutions associated with the Deobandi school of thought and the interior
ministry was quite concerned about this and was proposing to hand over the job
to the interior secretary, Syed Kamal Shah.
A source, involved in the
process of registering seminaries, said that NWFP had witnessed the largest
number of unregistered religious institutions, adding that a number of madressas
were brainwashing students for militant activities.
"I think the interior
ministry should be given the task to contain pro-militant seminaries as well as
register other madressas. The ministry enjoys manpower and would more
effectively tackle the issue," the source concluded. Dawn