Pak shuts down 254 religious seminaries


ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities have shut 254 suspected and unregistered religious madrassas across the country as part of a crackdown on religious seminaries involved in extremism.

167 suspected seminaries in Sindh, 13 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, two in Punjab, and 72 unregistered seminaries in Sindh have been closed, said Balighur Rehman, minister of state for interior & narcotics control with the National Assembly.

The minister shared the government’s measures to curb sectarian violence under the National Action Plan to combat terrorism, their implementation and the results achieved until February 16.

Regarding registration and regulation of seminaries, the state minister said the government had completed 100 per cent mapping on agreed parameters in Islamabad and Punjab.

Eighty per cent of the mapping exercise has been completed in Sindh, followed by 75 per cent in K-P and 60 per cent in Balochistan, he added.

“There are 190 foreign-funded seminaries in the country, of which 147 are in Punjab, 30 in Balochistan, seven in K-P and six in Sindh.”

The government is countering hate speech and banning dissemination of extremist material and so far 2,471 cases have been registered, 2,345 people arrested and 73 shops involved in the business sealed, Rehman told the house.

On misuse of loudspeakers, he said 9,945 cases had been registered, 10,177 people arrested and 2,664 devices confiscated.

Pakistan launched a major campaign under the National Action Plan (NAP) that was put in place after militants stormed an army school in December, 2014 killing at least 150 people, mostly children.


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