An intelligence agency report also forwarded by the Punjab Home Department has revealed that certain religious seminaries in Punjab were actively involved in fanning radicalism, adding that there had been a visible increase in the activities of the institutions in the last six weeks, The Express Tribune learnt on Tuesday.
The report entitled ‘Madrassahs (seminaries) fanning radicalism’ was forwarded by the Punjab Home Department to the Inspector General of Police Punjab and other senior police officers, including divisional commissioners, highlighted the dire need to regulate mainstream madrassas to ensure protection of civil society from radicalisation and sectarian polarisation. The seminaries included in the report were Madarassa Usman-o-Ali in Bahawalpur, Al-Noor Markaz Muridkey Goraya in Sialkot, Madrassa Daral uloom Khatijatul Qubra Lil Banat (Deoband) in Multan.
The report also suggested measures that could be taken to regulate the madrassas involved in fanning extremism in the province. The students and teachers belonging to these seminaries may be entered into a database maintained by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and kept under surveillance, the report proposed, adding that the authorities concerned would be forwarded the names of seminaries that were undoubtedly involved in promoting radicalism to shut them down.
The report suggested that the standard operating procedure (SOP) pertaining to the registration of madrassas may be improved and strictly followed, adding that unregistered seminaries may be shut down immediately. Technical representatives of LEAs may be allowed to inspect the construction of certain madrassas to assess their present and future usages, the report added.
The report suggested that the matter be discussed in the meeting of the divisional intelligence committee to implement the appropriate mechanics to restrict the banned organisations from breaching the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997.
Another intelligence report revealed that 3,270 students from tribal areas were enlisted at 209 seminaries in the Punjab.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2011.