Uniform control by the State on seminaries is one of the twenty points of National Action Plan (NAP) formulated by civilian and military leadership with complete consensus yet despite passage of almost two years, there has been no worthwhile development towards that end and for many it appears to be a pipe dream. Off and on, one hears federal and provincial departments getting in touch with administration of seminaries on the matter but then again a complete lull prevails making the issue as insignificant.
Chairing a meeting regarding NAP the other day, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf called for allocation of proper budget and funds for reforming religious seminaries. Since registration of seminaries and bringing improvements in their system comes under the domain of provincial governments, therefore, the very remarks of the Minister were unambiguously directed towards provincial authorities to fulfil their obligations entrusted to them under the NAP. Indeed the seminaries need both technical and financial assistance in order to bring their system at par with modern day requirements. KPK government of PTI had made a beginning by allocating funds to Darul-uloom- Haqqania but that drew flak from different quarters, which we believe was totally uncalled for. No doubt there are some seminaries having connections with banned outfits, which should be strictly checked but those free of sectarian and religious hatred and equipped with both Islamic and modern education should be fully supported. These seminaries in fact are providing food, shelter and education to the children of have-nots. With harmonisation of both religious and technical education, such seminaries help their students stand on their own feet and contribute to societal development. We, therefore, urge provincial governments and Tanzeem-i-Ittehadul Madaris to gear up their efforts and readily make available the entire wherewithal that help early streamlining of religious schools.
Source: Pak Observer
December 26, 2016