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Pak launches crackdown on unregistered madrassas

Last Updated: Monday, October 19, 2009 - 21:47

Islamabad: Pakistani authorities have arrested scores of suspects and launched a crackdown on unregistered madrassas in major cities following reports that some of them are linked to militants blamed for a wave of suicide attacks and bombings.
Nearly 100 suspects were arrested from different parts of the garrison city of Rawalpindi as part of measures put in place to improve security following an audacious terrorist assault on the Army`s General Headquarters.

Police officials said most of the people rounded up from areas like Westridge, Misrial Road, Friends Colony and Razaq Town were from the tribal areas while some were Afghan nationals.

In Islamabad, police arrested six suspects while searching several seminaries last night.

Three of them were arrested for having illegal weapons, officials said.

Police also arrested an activist of a jehadi group during routine checking. A delegation of scholars from madrassas agreed during a meeting today with Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) Bin Yameen that no foreigner would be given admission to a seminary or appointed as the imam or muezzin in mosques in Islamabad.

It was also agreed that no one would be allowed to carry weapons inside seminaries and that no guest would be allowed to stay in the institutions.

The administration of the seminaries agreed to cooperate fully with police and civil authorities. In Lahore, the city police chief Pervez Rathore has directed the police force to ensure that even registered seminaries are not involved in or used for any terrorist activity.

"It should be ensured that seminaries only continue their lawful academic and religious activities," he said while talking to a delegation of scholars that called on him.

Rathore said it was essential that all persons entering religious places were frisked in the wake of recent terror attacks.

He asked religious leaders and the administration of mosques to depute guards to keep an eye on suspicious persons.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, October 19, 2009 - 21:47
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