Action ordered against 49 madressahs with `terrorist links`
KARACHI: The Sindh home department has identified 49 madressahs having alleged links with `terrorist organisations` against whom the `relevant authorities` have been told to take action, it emerged here on Tuesday.[TOP]
Senior officials in the provincial home department said they had got reports from intelligence sources listing 49 madressahs `having linkages with terrorist organisations`.
The officials, who have prepared a report based on the latest information and submitted itto Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, avoided naming the militant groups those madressahs had ties with. However, they said the information had been shared with the Sindh police and Rangers for `appropriate action` against them.
The latest report prepared by the home department said 26 of the seminaries linked with the banned groups were in Karachi, 12 in Hyderabad, seven in Sukkur and four in Larkana.
Officials said such madressahs were identified with convincing evidence and legal action against them was being planned.
The provincial authorities have updated their previous figures relating to the number of madressahs in Sindh said to be more than double the number the government had shown recently.
In a report the government released in April, the number of madressahs in Sindh was said tobe around 4,000, while in the latest report, the home department says 9,590 madressahs are functioning in the province 6,503 registered and 3,087 unregistered.
The report said 517,695 students were enrolled in all the seminaries.
The government has sealed just 167 unregistered madressahs in Hyderabad and Benazirabad while 2,920 of them are still running -a dominant majority of them are in Karachi`s west district.
Officials said six of the unregistered seminarles had been searched elsewhere in Sindh but none in Karachi.
`The unregistered madressahs which have not yet been sealed are under strict surveillance of the law enforcement agencies and will be sealed if they hindered the registration process any further, said a senior official in the home ministry.
They said the registration of seminaries was under way and necessary coordination had been made to launch a search operation soon.
The officials had originally made the same statement during Ramazan in which they said the search of all the unregistered madressahs would begin after the holy month, but they have not yet specified a deadline for it.
Officials said construction of a madressah in the future would only be allowed after obtaining a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the home department for which the industries department had been asked to amend rules which made the home department`s NOC compulsory in addition to that of the deputy commissioner concerned and the Sindh Building Control Authority.
Officials said the fewest seminaries were located in Tando Allahyar district while Karachi West was the district with the most madressahs. The exact number of seminaries in Karachi West is still uncertain, admitted the officials.
The report said a dominant majority of madressahs was owned by Wifaq-ul-Madaris Arabia (Deoband), followed by Tanzeem-ul-Madaris Ahle Sunnat (Barelvi), Wifaq-ulMadaris (Fiqh Jafria) and Wifaq Al-Sulfia (Ahle Hadith).
Officials said the provincial apex committee, supervising the ongoing targeted operations in Sindh, had finalised a pro forma for registration of seminaries in the province.
Officials said the pro forma would require management of a madressah to fill in the details of students, teachers and sources of fund, if any, it received.
However, a final decision to make madressahs in the province oblige the authorities was expected to be taken at the coming meetings of the apex committee, said an official.