90% foreigners in madrassas have expired visas

Published: January 6, 2012
" Visa status should
not matter when it
comes to education.
Expired visas are
no justification for
deporting foreign
Dr Khadim Hussain Dhillon.

" Visa status should not matter when it comes to education. Expired visas are no justification for deporting foreign students," Dr Khadim Hussain Dhillon.


Even though visas issued to more than 90 per cent of foreigners studying in religious seminaries across the Punjab have expired, they are still in the country, reveal official documents copies of which were obtained by The Express Tribune.

According to the report titled ‘Foreign Students Studying in Madaris of the Punjab on Invalid Visa’ only 31 out of a total of 329 foreign students have a valid visa.

The students enrolled in seminaries situated in eight districts of the province belong to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Comoros, Dutch, Djibouti, Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mali, Myanmar, Morocco, Philippine, Netherlands, Russia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand and Turkey.

The agency that conducted the survey recommended that district administration and police be told to initiate legal action against the students living in the country illegally. “The present [security] situation warrants close coordination among all intelligence agencies,” says the report.

When contacted, Qari Hanif Jalandhary, the Wafaqul Madaris secretary general, said that the organisation had already directed all Deobandi madaris to follow the law. “As a student’s visa nears expiry the madrassa should issue a certificate and ask the Ministry of Interior for an extension,” he said. Jalandhary said that the body would take action against any madrassa that did not follow the directions.

The mohtmam of Jamia Naeemia, Dr Raghib Naeemi, said that they had checked the visas of all foreign students.

He insisted none of the visas had expired.

Tanzeemul Madaris president and Ruet-i-Hilal Committee chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman said, “The student and the respective seminaries are responsible for getting an extension or renewing the visa.

The process should be initiated before the visa expires, not after.”

However, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat’s central secretary general Dr Khadim Hussain Dhillon said that visa status should not matter when it comes to religious education. Expired visas are no justification for deporting foreign students, he said.

When contacted, Deputy Inspector General (Operations) Ghulam Mehmood Dogar, told The Express Tribune that the police would take action against foreign students residing illegally in the city.

Cases will be registered in the respective police stations under Foreigner Act against such students, he said, adding that the students would then be deported with the help of FIA and the interior ministry.

District name           Total no                No of students

                                                                                with valid visa

Lahore                      244                    1

Gujrat                       23                      11

Rawalpindi               15                      0

Chakwal                   14                      0

Khanewal                 11                      0

Attock                       13                      11

Faisalabad                3                        0

Rahim Yar Khan     6                        5

Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Cautious
    Jan 6, 2012 - 5:52AM

    I am surprised anyone bothered to check — pretty clear that no one has checked in a long time. No doubt you will do nothing now that you have confirmed the obvious.


  • Hasan
    Jan 6, 2012 - 6:22AM

    “However, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat’s central secretary general Dr Khadim Hussain Dhillon said that visa status should not matter when it comes to religious education. Expired visas are no justification for deporting foreign students, he said.”
    With ludicrous statements like this I am beginning to finally understand the root cause of Pakistan’s problems.


  • shazia khan
    Jan 6, 2012 - 10:20AM

    then why aren’t these ”students” being deported back to their countries? their receiving religious education doesn’t make them special,the laws of the land should be applied to the religious fanatics also,it’s high time that the special treatment given to these ppl is stopped and they are punished for their crimes also.


  • IndiKid
    Jan 6, 2012 - 10:55AM

    Wow, you what a collection of international students! Students from Netherlands,, China, Russia, Turkey, etc coming to Pakistan. It proves Pakistan is a global leader in education.


  • Sane
    Jan 6, 2012 - 11:29AM

    What about the foreign students studying in Pakistani universities, any stats regarding them ? Why are madrassas always targetted ?


  • John B
    Jan 6, 2012 - 11:32AM

    I thought Saudi Arabia or other Arabic countries will be the best place to learn Islamic religious education with full understanding of Arabic language.

    How in the world PAK became a center of Islamic education is beyond me. Juding from the recent developments on Islamic theology , PAK Madrassas are not doing a scholarly work I may add!


  • islamic boy
    Jan 6, 2012 - 11:44AM

    ET please also identify those americ s who r living here without visas….
    I dont know why se hve all’checks n concerns regarding madarasahs…
    There are lot of them who r in karachi serving nation n pakistan…..Recommend

  • Jan 6, 2012 - 12:34PM

    Its disgusting! What is Abdul Rehman Malik and his team doing? Whave we taken contract of accumulatinh whole word illegally at our country? Recommend

  • Anwar Hasan
    Jan 6, 2012 - 1:11PM

    The 31 valid visas were valid because they were just issued to new students. When their visas will expire they also will not be renewed like the other students.


  • Noreen
    Jan 6, 2012 - 1:33PM

    I Every Land is the Land of Allah….There is no boundaries for the purpose of education and Skills. Understanding Islam (peace) and its message (peace for all) comes the 1st priority. The most honest, uncorrupt, peaceful and trust worthy people in the world are religious…those who really understand the purpose and message of Islam/religion. The Govt. should appreciate and help those who serving country in the real sense. Further the root of cause of Pak problems is not Islam or its ideology but the lack of justice, equality, double standard, corruption it all level and institutions, struggle for chair and power, self interest, dishonesty with Allah and even themselves, high mismanagement and lack of human resources management, lack of true Islamic education, violation of human rights, survival of the fattest/cruel, lack of truth, habitual, social and institutional lies and dishonesty, lack of integrity and nationals respect, behavioral, psychological and social immaturity, lack of training as nation, inner ethnic difference, mutual misunderstanding and miscommunications, distrust and lack of proper and equal distribution of resources and rights…etc. Still the nation under evolutionary stage and it will take time.


  • Jan 6, 2012 - 2:01PM

    Vienna, January 6,2012
    The key is jihad is part of the religion.Osama Bin Laden
    therefore could stay in Pakistan without a VISA. That
    uncle Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani should have
    known.When terror is part of politics and religion that
    country even if it is land of the pure Pakistan lands
    in trouble.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna


  • Jan 6, 2012 - 3:57PM

    I agree with Govt of Pakistan, We must depot them from our country. They all are terrorist and they are living illegally. I appreciated Police work and we have to keep eye on them. If they want to take Islami education they must go saudi Arabia instead of Pakistan. We dont have resource that we train terrorist.


  • Jan 6, 2012 - 4:00PM

    when govt is not ready to renew these Visas then what these kids should do?
    Also Indian lobby is working in this case also. They are inviting these kids to their madrassas at nominal fees. So that they cant create false impression of religious freedom and become a member of OIC.
    Also these people once they grow up will act as ambassadors of India wherever they will go in life. They will always support India against Pakistan.


  • Jan 6, 2012 - 4:48PM

    It is alright. They are not from America or UK.


  • ishaq
    Jan 6, 2012 - 6:08PM

    90% foreigners in madrassas are becoming Extremists. :)


  • Mirza
    Jan 7, 2012 - 12:41AM

    The students have the same visa as OBL and his harem had. Special people do not need visa to stay in out of control areas. The lack of visa must be HH, Zardari and PPP’s fault. They should be tried for treason for keeping foreigners without a valid visa in the country. With the strategic assets so powerful, Pakistan is free for all.


  • saleem
    Jan 7, 2012 - 1:57AM

    Students with expired visas of mad rassas should be deported and such mad-rassas be closed down


  • Temur
    Jan 7, 2012 - 5:37AM

    Half of Karachi is comprised of illegal immigrants from India, Bangladesh and other south Asian countries and nobody seems to bother, so what if few hundred students “studying” in different madrasas don’t have valid documents. Welcome to the land of lawlessness.


  • Jan 9, 2012 - 8:54PM

    it is nothing but Islamophobia that tribune is promoting, nothing else


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