As many as 56 of the 13,849 religious seminaries geo-tagged by the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) have been put in Category A for their suspected links with banned organistions, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Documents available with The Tribune show that most of these seminaries identify themselves with the Deobandi sect.
A Home Department official said that updated information on seminaries across the province was now available to the authorities concerned. “We have information about their sectarian affiliation and number of students and teachers at each facility,” he said.
Information compiled in this regard included the caretaker/administrator’s photograph and contact details; source(s) of income; and number of students and teachers.
Monitoring Afghan refugees
The provincial government is also working on geo-tagging all of 256,000 Afghan refugees in the province.
A PITB official said that so far geo-tagging of 66,100 Afghan refugees had been completed.
He said the process involved information gathering using biometric technology. He said most refugees had moved away from addresses available with the government. This was delaying the completion of the task, he said.
“The geo-tagging of seminaries and Afghan refugees is part of the National Action Plan against terrorism,” said PITB Chairman Umar Saif.
He said the provincial government was using the latest technology to improve efforts for maintenance of law and order. “The Police Department is taking keen interest in use of the latest technology and gadgets,” he said.
Saif said records of most police stations had been digitised.
Parliamentary Secretary for Home Mahar Ijaz Ahmad Achlana said use of technology had helped bring down crime in several regions in the province. “There is still room for improvement,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2016.