PESHAWAR: Out of the 3,028 seminaries in various parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the government’s registers have information on only 1,208. The information was shared by officials of Auqaf Department with The Express Tribune.
The officials said the provincial government, with the help of intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, has also collected information about over 1,800 seminaries that are not registered. They added these unregistered seminaries were either functioning in mosques or were based on one or two classrooms.
As per official data, the strength of students in registered seminaries is around 300,000, including 6,928 foreigners. Most of these foreigners belong to Afghanistan, but are living is different parts of K-P, along with their family members and relatives.
The seminaries also house orphans who have lost bread earners of their families in different acts of violence. Many students in the seminaries are also those who belong to low income backgrounds in neglected districts and tribal agencies.
All of them have been housed in the seminaries free of charge.
When contacted, Minister for Auqaf Haji Habibur Rahman told The Express Tribune the provincial government has been distributing grants among owners and administrators of these seminaries for a long time.
In reply to a question, Rahman, who is from Jamaat-e-Islami, said there was no fixed criteria for the distribution of grants among owners and administrators of seminaries.
“After assuming the office, I approved a minimum grant of Rs20,000 and maximum Rs500,000 for each seminary,” he said.
He added grant to seminaries is announced and given by ministers or administrative secretaries and directors in accordance with performances of the institution. Most of the owners or administrators approach the department for financial help through applications, he maintained.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2016.
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