“The federal government is planning to introduce Arabic as a compulsory subject in primary schools,” Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousuf said on Saturday.
Speaking at a press conference at the Jamia Khairul Madaris, he said this could help fight sectarianism and terrorism.
“There is a proposal of teaching Arabic books to children from primary to matric so they can learn the Quran,” he said.
The minister said facility in Arabic could promote religious tolerance.
“The matter will be discussed with the provinces soon,” he said.
“The country’s biggest law and order challenge today is to eliminate sectarianism which is the main cause of terrorism,” he said.
“We are consulting religious scholars of all sects in the country about this.”
The federal minister said there were 25,000 religious seminaries registered in Pakistan.
“All of them are under complete observation… they have no relations with any terrorist outfit… We are encouraging them to improve academic standards,” he said.
In reply to a question, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousuf said there would be one category in Hajj policy this year. He said the government was also making efforts to improve Hajj arrangements in 2014.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2014.