Afghan Taliban studying in Balochistan: Pakistan

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Student studying at a madarsa in Balochistan, image from Facebook

New Delhi, March 21, 2017: Sarfaraz Bugti, Balochistan’s minister for home and tribal affairs, has spoken to the Voice of America (VOA) radio that thousands of Afghan Taliban were still studying in seminaries across Balochistan. The province infamous for the headquarter of Afghan Taliban at Quetta. It was an open secret. “There are many seminaries where Afghan Taliban are studying, and many are owned by the Afghan Taliban group”, Bugti speaking to VOA’s Deewa Afghan service.

According to report, Pakistan consisted of more than 30,000 madarsas, of which some were legal adhering strictly to religious teaching. But thousands of them were not registered with the government. These were the potential places for recruiting points for militants and Taliban’.

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Ihsan Ghani, chief of the National Counter Terrorism Authority stated that as part of a new national counter-extremism policy the government had vowed to register all unregistered madrassas. Amin-ul-Hasnat Shah, the minister of state for religious affairs, admitted that these madrassas are mostly funded by Arab countries. The VOA stated that it is because of thousands of unregistered madrassas, they have been consequent of accruing militancy in Afghan-Pakistan region.

The schools nurture militants’ ideology and provide foot soldiers for the Taliban,’ who have been engaged in a bloody insurgency with the US-backed Afghan government for more than a decade. Much of the militant activity was accrued in Balochistan, oblivious of government scrutiny, where 5,500 madrassas operate as boarding schools, many of them breeding spots for terror.

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Sediq Seddiqi, a spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Interior, spoke to VOA about last month’s terrorist attack in Kandahar that killed five UAE diplomats, was planned in Mawlawi Ahmad Madressah in Chaman. Balochistan government’s statistics estimated that more than 5,000 Afghans were studying at madrassas there with Taliban’s supreme leader, Mullah Haibatullah, himself operating a seminary in Kuchlak, Quetta. The Balochistan government in Pakistan has never paid an iota of attention to shut these Madrassas, run and funded for Taliban. It always coming out with some great excuse to justify this.

Pakistan army, self-proclaimed best security force of the world, has never taken any action against these madrassas under the National Action Plan (NAP). It seems the incumbent government is very much comfortable with these cash cows and offer them several extensions provided the mess is in other provinces but not in Punjab specially Lahore. Afghan Government does not need any proof and evidence to present. The registration of religious schools was undertaken many years ago and still not finished as Pakistan government is probably not interested. All the funding must be halted immediately and the teaching needs to be monitored.

Pakistan tells the world that there isn’t any Taliban there and then issues statements like these that make the country a laughing stock. Pakistan allows its soil to be used for such violent acts both domestically and abroad and promulgates cave age extremism.

– prepared by Sabhyata Badhwar of NewsGram. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse