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Pakistan to bring 30,000 madrasas under government control

By Anuj Cariappa

Islamabad, Apr 30: As part of a campaign to combat extremism, Pakistan announced on Monday that it will bring over 30,000 madrasas into the mainstream education system. A military spokesperson said that contemporary subjects will be taught and a syllabus without hate speech will be formulated so students can be taught respect for different sects.

Pakistan to bring 30,000 madrasas under government control

Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, Major General Asif Ghafoor, Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Pakistan had witnessed a surge in religious seminaries from 247 madrasas in 1947 to 2,861 in 1980.

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"And now there are over 30,000 madrasas. Out of these, only 100 are involved in propagating terrorism," he said, adding that several steps were underway to control and bring the seminaries into the mainstream. "All madrasas will be brought under the Ministry of Education."

The military spokesman said the students will also receive a degree which will be associated with the education board.

"Initially Rs 2 billion will be required to run this programme and then Rs 1 billion each year to keep it going," he said. "The mainstreaming has three phases. The first is to prepare a bill which will be ready in around a month. The second phase requires training of teachers and the third phase will be the implementation of the bill."

Ghafoor also claimed that there were no terrorist groups in Pakistan as military operations had broken the organised networks of militant outfits. "I can now say with confidence that there is no terrorist organisation in Pakistan anymore," he said.

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