Madrasa reforms: Policy measures to mainstream seminaries soon

ISLAMABAD: The federal government will soon announce new policy measures for mainstreaming religious seminaries, considered to be the hotbeds of extremism. A meeting, convened by National Security Adviser Lt-Gen (retired) Nasser Khan Janjua, was held on Monday to review the progress over madrasa reforms.

The meeting was attended, among others, by Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousuf, members of the Ittehad Tanzeemat-e-Madaris Pakistan Mufti Munibur Rehman, Qari Muhammad Hanif Jalandhri, Muhammad Yasin Zafar, Maulana Abdul Malik, Maulana Niyaz Hussain Naqvi and senior officials of Higher Education.

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A major breakthrough came in October last year when the federal government, Wafaqul Madaris and Ittehad Tanzeemmat-e-Madaris had agreed on the new curriculum for religious seminaries.

An official privy to the meeting said that a thorough discussion was held on the issue. He said that the national security adviser sought comments of participants on various aspects of the suggested roadmap.

Matters regarding curriculum, strategy and procedures involved in the process of mainstreaming; proposed system of examination; and upgradation of madrasas in the future were also discussed, he said.

“After thorough deliberations and consultation, the federal government will soon announce the policy to enable students of seminaries to be absorbed in the mainstream educational system which will enable them to … any profession of their choice like everyone else in the country,” said the official.

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“Once the policy is announced, a proper layout will be formulated for its effective implementation,” he said. “This will help dispel the perception about religious seminaries that they … teach hate speech against other schools of thought and promote extremism.”

Mainstreaming religious seminaries was an important part of the 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) formulated in the wake of the deadly attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School in December 2014.

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