ISLAMABAD: The Sindh government has taken the lead over other provinces, emerging as the country’s only province to have closed down over 2,300 seminaries while completing the geo-mapping of seminaries. This is in stark contrast to the record of other provinces.
The provincial government closed down 2,311 seminaries across Sindh over suspicious activities.
Geo-tagging and registration of seminaries was one of the key components of the National Action Plan (NAP) devised in 2014 after terrorists massacred around 150 people, mostly children, in the Army Public School, Peshawar.
The statistics provided by the interior ministry to parliament show that Punjab has so far closed down only two suspected seminaries while completing geo-mapping of religious seminaries.
In a written reply to a question on the implementation status of the National Action Plan (NAP), the ministry said Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) had completed 75 per cent of the geo-mapping of seminaries. It has shut down 13 seminaries on suspicion of illegal activities.
The government of Balochistan has completed 60 per cent of the geo-mapping and closed just one suspected seminary in the province.
Surprisingly, no statistics have been submitted regarding the registration of seminaries.
The registration and regulation of religious seminaries was among the 20 points defined in the NAP. Responsibility of registering seminaries lies with the provincial government while the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) was supposed to draft a uniform data registration form for religious seminaries besides developing consensus of the provincial authorities on it. A uniform policy on these issues, however, is still awaited.
Decline in sectarian terrorism
Sectarian-related terrorism incidents have significantly dropped in the past two years under the NAP.
In 2016, only 34 cases of sectarian terrorism were registered while the number stood at 79 in 2015. Previous to these years massive cases of terrorism were being reported in the country, stated the reply. In 2014, 176 as such cases were reported, in 2013, 127 cases, in 2012, 185 cases while in 2011, 70 incidents of sectarian terrorism were reported.
Choking terror financing
A total of Rs885.385 million was recovered under the head of choking terror financing.
Moreover, 681 cases of Hawala or Hundi were registered while 201 cases are under investigation and 345 cases are under trial, the interior ministry. The reply quotes the figure of 102 convictions and equal number of acquittals in this context.
Likewise, the ministry stated 931 cases of arrests under the head of measures to chock terror financing.
A total of 283 cases under the head of ‘anti-money laundering’ have been registered in which 136 cases were under investigation while 147 cases were under trial. No conviction and no acquittal have been reported under this head while 414 persons have been arrested under the same head.
The security operation in Karachi has achieved significant success by lowering the crime rate under different heads, claimed the ministry.
It stated that terrorism had declined by 90 per cent in Karachi due to the ongoing operation in Karachi which is headed by the paramilitary Rangers. Targeted killings have dropped by 91 per cent, murder cases declined by 62 per cent, robberies’ incidents reduced by 48 per cent and 33,378 weapons recovered during the operation in Karachi.
Under implementation status of NAP, the ministry claimed to have curtailed the visibility of armed militias and it quoted 1,865 terrorists as ‘killed’ while 5,611 terrorists as ‘arrested’ under the implementation status of NAP. A total of 414 terrorists were executed under Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) or Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2017.