ISLAMABAD: The National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) has finalised a uniform registration and data form for registering madrassas and it has already got the approval of provinces on it.
It now only needs the consent of the prime minister to kick off the registration process, sources in relevant authorities said.
Earlier, the provinces had some issues with the original pro forma which have now been removed after it was modified, they added.
“The first task is to initiate registration of madrassas which have so far not been registered and in the second phase the government would give some incentives to seminaries which opt to register,” sources said.
These incentives may include giving board equivalence to the registered seminaries. However, giving them financial assistance is not on cards, sources said.
The government considers only those seminaries as ‘madrassas’ which provide boarding and lodging to their students.
Across the country, there are as many as 30,000 such madrassas and most of these madrassas have already been registered. The geo-tagging of these seminaries has also been completed, they said.
In terms of numbers, Punjab has the most seminaries followed by Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Fata.
The Ittehad-e-Tanzeemat-e-Madaris Pakistan (ITMP), which oversees tens of thousands of religious institutions, has also agreed to the proposed. Most of the madrassas looked after by ITMP have also agreed to asset verification, including audit of accounts.
By implementing uniform data and registration forms, the government wants to compile data of all religious seminaries so that it could determine how many madrassas are being run in the country and how many of them are run on local funding and how many get foreign funding. Moreover, it also wants to learn whether some seminaries are involved in extremism or not besides knowing the quality of education at these seminaries.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 2nd, 2016.
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