100 suspects arrested in police raids on madrassas

Published: February 7, 2012

The operation was planned after “suspicious activity” was noted in few madrassas, says a police official. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

PESHAWAR: Police rounded up several suspects from unregistered madrassas on Tuesday during a search operation in various areas of the city.

The operation was planned after “suspicious activity” was noted in a few madrassas, said a police official.

More than 10 madrassas were raided and several suspects were taken into custody, a police source told The Express Tribune, revealing that a majority of the seminaries were unregistered.

“More than a hundred suspects were taken into custody after we carried out a search operation in Yaqatoot and University Road areas,” said the source.

Many of those apprehended were Afghan nationals, said the official.

The relatives of those arrested and other madrassa students gathered around the Yaqatoot police station and protested against the search operation, however, police baton-charged the protestors and used tear gas to disperse them.

The operation comes at a time when there have been two suicide attacks and a number of kidnappings and targeted killings in the surrounding areas of the provincial capital.

There are around 18-24,000 registered madrassas in Pakistan. There are countless more unregistered seminaries. It was also recently reported that 90 per cent of foreigners studying in religious seminaries across the Punjab had expired visas.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 7, 2012 - 6:33PM

    I have written time and again on this subject, but the government has not taken any action on it.

    Mullahs teaching in Madrassas in Pakistan are teaching terrorism to the students, and not the Holy Book Quran.

    Had they been teaching Quran in its real sense, there would have no no violence in Pakistan.

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  • jibran
    Feb 7, 2012 - 6:36PM

    Cool!
    I hope our courts won’t spring into action to protect the rights of the “terrorists”. In the past they have taken their religious beliefs and ideology way to far.

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  • Feb 7, 2012 - 6:41PM

    Capture fanatic Mullah’s not children

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  • Cautious
    Feb 7, 2012 - 6:48PM

    It’s a start. In the long run you need to place the onus on the Madrassas for compliance with the laws – if they allow students who are “illegal” then hold them responsible – fine them or shut them down.

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  • Just Ordinary
    Feb 7, 2012 - 7:15PM

    I guess not All madrasas are teaching terrorism, however if few (unregistered) are involved in suspicious activity, we must not make a stereotype against it. Jihad, is a part of Islam (written, with hand, with heart, with tongue, with money) and if they teach (the real one which Islam says not on for mullahs own benefits) JIhad, they are teaching Islam. Or Why not govt rename Pakistan to “Islamic Republic of Pakistan with Islam exclusive of Jihad”

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  • Feb 7, 2012 - 7:17PM

    Good action by police even though late. The government should be ruthless in these matters. What about arresting JUD chief and charging him under sedition?

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  • Feb 7, 2012 - 7:25PM

    I fear it today. It does not make sense to me that people can not recognize their faith, and become violent for only attaining the good afterlife, without thinking of the heaven in this world. To me, make this world a peaceful heaven, you will have heaven in the next world – if that is so.
    Do you folks think they will be charged? or they will be sued? No. Forget it, this would fade in the newspapers, only. Pakistan knows no justice, unless the money is showed – a general fact.

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  • Akhtar
    Feb 7, 2012 - 7:52PM

    @Naveeda: what justice are you talking about? Attending Madrassa is a crime? Learning Quran is a crime? That too in a Islamic Republic? Have you read Quran? Jihad is a duty of every Muslim, do you know that? The students were arrested as “suspects”? Suspecting what? The Government must go! Though I dislike PTI, acts like these may change my mind!

    Just remember that these students are most respected throughout country! Except by liberal extremists! It’s a shame to read comments of fellow Pakis celebrating arrests of true Muslims who are willing to die for Islam! People like you would also support Lal masjid massacre. Shame! But remember people like you won’t be even 1% of the population. Let ET conduct a opinion poll & you’ll know the reality!

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Feb 7, 2012 - 8:23PM

    Close down all the Maderssas in Pakistan with immidiate effect . Mullas are creating jehadee mentaliy in the tender mind . Religious teaching should be imparted wnen a person become mature . When he or she could differentiate,what is right or wrong .

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  • ahsan
    Feb 7, 2012 - 8:32PM

    Student have no problems its a business with mullah who is paid through dollars,Riyals,Darhems etc catch them once for all.

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  • Feb 7, 2012 - 8:56PM

    @Akhtar:
    What Jihad you are talking about. Do you know the meaning of jihad? Why have you not participated in any jihad and attained Jenna being a Muslim. Is it the religious terrorists or liberal extremists killing other sects and minorities? If targeting Shias, Ahmedis, Minorities, helpless and poor women is jihad, then this country do not need such jihadists. Enough is enough. You people have already brought shame on this nation and are responsible for killing Benazir Bhutto and others.Recommend

  • Aarvey,india
    Feb 7, 2012 - 9:17PM

    @Akhtar:

    Nobody said attending a madarssa was a crime. It’s just that people running the madarassa are really not teaching the Quran and the benevolent parts of the Quran . They are teaching hate and intolerance.why should people die for Islam? I thought it was a religion of peace! Going by your statement it seems that your Islam is for violence and death.

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  • Shakky
    Feb 7, 2012 - 9:33PM

    @Akhtar: What you are advocating is not Islam. What you are advocating is violence, intolerance and bigotry. The people whom you label as “liberal extremists” are normal Muslims who reject the attempts by a small (yes, small) minority of the population to hijack Islam for their own political purposes.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Feb 7, 2012 - 10:30PM

    This is less than 10% of Madrassas, which operate in Pakistan, so if they decided to take action against them all, than Pakistan will need to build new Prisons to lock these elements up !!!!
    But that is wishful thinking as those few that they raided , simply lacked any political clout, so good for showing their effort to reduce extramism to rest of the world !!
    This was just cosmetic exercise, nothing more !!

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  • Feb 7, 2012 - 10:35PM

    @Akhtar:
    I am talking about justice of the religion. Is there any justice to what Islam is? I do not know what the students were doing in the madrassa, but from what my standpoint is do you get RELIGION in madrassa’s (unregistered one’s or ones where only extremism is being taught)? No. It is not religion, it is extremism.I myself have studied in madrassa’s, and that in 2001 or 2003 or so, but today we are having qaari or mullah at home to teach the holy Quran and the islamic teachings to our younger in the families.
    Akhtar, you have to accept that those are not Muslims, who are using criminal code of holy Quran in a different interpretation.
    No, holy Quran leads our life, I condemn the interpretation of the verses they are using. God forbid, I did not talk against holy Quran.
    If anything is done at national level, one gets the firsthand information. Pakistani army, police of any other department would not capture students, those students who are not harming the nation. To become a Muslim, you have to be a human being. So be the latter, before running to become the first one.

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  • ahmed
    Feb 7, 2012 - 10:40PM

    @Akhtar:

    I completely agree with you. most of the liberal pakistanis are corrupt and have their interest in foreign country.

    When USA kills people in muslim world they are termed as saviour and when a muslim does jihad, he is termed as terrorist.

    USA is killing people since 1947 (CIA formation). They are the real terrorist country in the world.What is wrong when muslims are retaliating ???

    Until unless USA stops it’s terrorist activity, nothing will change.

    Noam Chomsky, Howard gin, Tariq Ali

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  • Barbara
    Feb 8, 2012 - 1:08AM

    Why has the government finally taken notice of illegal madrassas, and foreigners with expired visas ??
    Perhaps it is because there have been two suicide attacks and a number of kidnappings and targeted killings in the surrounding areas of the provincial capital. The violent impact of extremists can no longer be ignored by Pakistan, because the extremists are maiming or killing innocent Pakistani civilians.

    The relatives of those arrested and other madrassa students gathered around the police station and protested against the search operation.

    Perhaps the relatives of those maimed or killed by extremists, combined with other Pakastani’s who do not support extremists, should protest louder against the illegal madrassas, and the foreigners with expired visas.

    The combined pressure of these people may convince the courts to spring into action to protect the rights of citizens over the rights of the “terrorists”.

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  • Akhtar
    Feb 8, 2012 - 8:46AM

    @Aarvey: I see no point in answering you as you are a Hindu-Indian who knows nothing of Islam & Pakistan!

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  • Akhtar
    Feb 8, 2012 - 9:00AM

    @Iqbal Ahmed: I think you were also posting comments in support of IMRAN KHAN, & just let me know why khan Saab has not condemned any Madrassa, Jihadi Groups or Blasphemy Laws? Any true Muslim & Pak will happily give his life in the defense of Islam & as a green passport holder, am no different!Recommend

  • Cobra Commander
    Feb 8, 2012 - 10:43AM

    @akhtar. The liberal extremists do not kill fellow Muslims by strapping bombs to their stomachs nor do they slit the throats of those who have difference of opinion with them. Again and again , hard core terrorists have found refuge in these madrasas and using them as a base these terrorbans have inflicted heavy casualty againast the hapless people of our country. Tribune does not need to setup a online poll , let’s just wait for the elections and we will see how many of your madrasah buddies will garner enough votes to make it to the assemblies.

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  • s shah
    Feb 8, 2012 - 10:58AM

    @iqbal ahmed, @shakky, @ naveeda sheikh. I completely agree with your comments. A jihad cannot be declared by an individual or group of individuals for their own ends. It is a defensive war that is declared by the state and it follows strict rules of protecting the innocent and the weak and it mandates making peace if the other side wishes peace. Bombing, terrorism, killing and mutilating the innocent without warning, killing minorities and other sects is not jihad. It is criminal behaviour.

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  • Aarvey,india
    Feb 8, 2012 - 11:00AM

    @Akhtar: it is obvious you do not have answers to my questions and even if you choose to reply it would mean that you will have to put forward untruths. In any case what do you know about Hinduism? Nothing I presume. Not even a miniscule fraction of what I know about Islam. Don’t forget India has a very large population of Muslims who co exist with Hindus unlike in Pakistan.

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  • Feb 8, 2012 - 1:12PM

    @s shah:
    Glad to another positive comment, understanding the depth of this current event, which is not religious at all.

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  • dr khan
    Feb 8, 2012 - 3:53PM

    Akhtar, well said. Pakistan cannot become an Islamic Republic if we’re going to cherry pick our favorite parts and leave out the obligation of jihad.Recommend

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