Sindh closes 2,311 seminaries in geo-mapping move

 12 Mar 2017 - 20:59


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 percent of the geo-mapping of seminaries. It has shut down 13 seminaries on suspicion of illegal activities.
The government of Balochistan has completed 60 percent 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.
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.