Taliban safe havens, madrassas in Pak fuelling Afghan insurgency: Canadian minister

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Washington, Mar 7 (ANI): The main reason behind the growing strength of insurgency in Afghanistan is due to al Qaeda and Taliban militants finding safe havens in Pakistan and the surging output of jihadis from radical Islamic schools, according to Canadian Defence Minister Peter Mackay.

"The Taliban are growing in strength because they have the ability to seek safe haven in Pakistan," Mackay said about the source of the growing Afghan insurgency lies across the border in Pakistan.

Taliban fighters, who increasingly strike across much of southern and eastern Afghanistan, inflicting soaring casualties among Canadian and other foreign forces, can go back across the border and they can regroup and rearm in Pakistan, Globe and Mail quoted MacKay, as saying.

Mackay also fingered the large number of privately-financed Islamic religious schools attended by hundreds of thousands of young men in Pakistan, as being a festering source of radicals determined to kill Westerners.

The "madrassas in Pakistan are producing young, motivated people who hate the west," Mackay said.

"We need to provide alternatives to those sources of extremism, the sources of Taliban recruitment have to be addressed," he added.

Mackay said the effort must continue. "Without a substitute for (madrassas) education in Pakistan, this is one of the worst sources of emerging terrorism," he said.

"Young, people, not necessarily or Pakistani descent - Afghans, Pashtuns - are festering in these madrassas and getting these extremist views and this hatred for the West," Mackay said. (ANI)

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