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Government in Pakistan grants $3 million to the Country’s ‘University of Jihad’

University of Jihad was founded in 1947 and is famous for training, nurture rebels who prevented the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet Union

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Jihad. Image Source: Reuters
  • Pakistan’s Government announced giving $3 million to  Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary
  • University of Jihad was founded in 1947 and is famous for training, nurture rebels 
  • Chairman of  Pakistan is also supporting the move

It’s been about 16 months since a terror attack in which 132 school children were killed by Tehrik-e-Taliban in Peshawar. At that time, Pakistan government had decided to suppress religious institutes that are recruiting students for terrorism and sheer violence. Pakistan Government also said that they will put efforts to curb Taliban. But it all seems just false promises.

Peshawar attack (Source: Reuters)
Peshawar attack. Image Source: Reuters

On one hand the Pakistan Government promises to curb all religious institute recruiting students for terrorism and on the other hand they promote them. Recently, Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government announced giving $3 million to  Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary, also known as Univerity of Jihad. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa leaders stated that the grant was needed to keep Jihad University operational.

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“I am proudly announcing that Darul Uloom Haqqania Nowshera will get 300 million rupees to meet its annual expenditures,” Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Minister Shah Farman said in an assembly quoting to PTI.

Mustaq Ghani said that this grant will mainstream the ‘University of Jihad’ and this is a part of the expanded amendment of that 3 million Pakistani students learn in more than one lakh madrassas.

Mushtaq Ghani, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s information minister (Source: PPI)
Mushtaq Ghani, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s information minister (Source: PPI)

“A large number of students study, live and eat in this seminary, and it’s doing great service for the poor people,” Mushtaq Ghani, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s information minister, quoted in an interview with The Washington Post.

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University of Jihad was founded in 1947 and is famous for training, nurture rebels who prevented the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet Union. Jihad University currently had registered 4000 students and provide housing facilities to them.

Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan (Source: Reuters)
Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan (Source: Reuters)

Chairman of  Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan, instead of opposing; was found supporting the move. He praised the government by stating that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had made a wise decision. He also conferred that this will prevent the students from radicalization.

However, this move is being opposed by the citizens of Pakistan, especially on the grounds of Peshawar massacre. “The Taliban are killing our children, and our government is giving money to their sympathizers,” said Shahi Syed, a Pakistani senator quoting to the Washington Post.

Many critics are opposing the move and are confused whether Pakistan can be trusted as a partner in global fight of terrorism.

-prepared by Aparna Gupta, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna99

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Zeenat Shahzadi had allegedly been kidnapped in Pakistan's Lahore city in 2015. Twitter.

Lahore October 21:  It was reported by PTI that A Pakistani journalist, Zeenat Shahzadi had “forcibly disappeared” while working on the case of Indian citizen Hamid Ansari.

  • A Pakistani journalist, Zeenat Shahzadi who was allegedly kidnapped two years ago has been rescued.
  • Zeenat Shahzadi, a 26-year-old reporter of Daily Nai Khaber and Metro News TV channel, was kidnapped by unidentified men while she was reaching her home in Lahore on August 19, 2015.
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The chief of Pakistan’s Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (CIED) Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal said that Shahzadi was retrieved nearby the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on Thursday night. He also mentioned the key roles of tribals from Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces in her recovery.

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Rescue of Pakistani Journalist is celebrated in Pakistan. Twitter.

Ansari, a resident of Mumbai had been arrested for illegally invading Pakistan from Afghanistan to meet a girl he had befriended online in 2012. He was convicted to three years imprisonment on charges of spying and entering Pakistan illegally.

On Shahzadi being kidnapped, her brother Saddam Hussain committed suicide in March last year, making the situation an importance by the media.

Human rights activists, including former Secretary General of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, IA Rehman, have raised their voice to set Ansari free since he has completed to serve his sentence.

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Pakistan Elected to UN Human Rights Council along with 14 other countries

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UN General Assembly elect 15 new members of Human Rights Council. Wikimedia

United Nations, October 17, 2017 : Fifteen countries, including Pakistan, have been elected to the UN Human Rights Council by the UN General Assembly.

In a vote on Monday, Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Chile, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine were elected, a Foreign Office statement said.

They will serve a three-year term from January 1, 2018. (IANS)

 

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Pakistan Electoral Body Bars Political Party Due to Terror Ties

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Sheikh Yaqub
Sheikh Yaqub (C) candidate of the newly-formed Milli Muslim League party, waves to his supporters at an election rally in Lahore, Pakistan. voa

Pakistan’s Election Commission (ECP) on Wednesday rejected the registration application of a newly established political party with alleged ties to a banned militant group in the country.

Milli Muslim League (MML) has been disqualified to participate in the country’s state and general elections.

The electoral commission’s decision is said to be based on a request made earlier by the country’s Ministry of Interior Affairs, stating that Milli Muslim League is a front organization for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a U.S.-designated terror sponsoring organization in Pakistan.

“The government is vigilant and under no circumstances will allow any political party with a proven record of promoting violence and terrorism to spread their extremist ideology through democracy and political means,” Tallal Chaudhry, Pakistan’s minister of state for Interior Affairs, told VOA.

Saif Ullah Khalid, president of Milli Muslim League, dismissed the election commission’s decision and said the party will take the matter to the country’s judiciary.

Political wing

Milli Muslim League was established in August 2017 as a political wing for the controversial Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which is believed to be a front organization for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group led by Hafiz Saeed.

Saeed was accused of masterminding Mumbai’s 2008 terror attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

The U.S. government has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest. Saeed has been reportedly under house arrest in the eastern city of Lahore for the past eight months.

In September, during an important by-election in Lahore, when the National Assembly’s seat fell vacant following the disqualification of then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the newly launched MML backed an independent candidate who finished fourth in the race for Sharif’s seat.

At the time, Pakistan’s upper house of parliament strongly criticized the country’s election commission for allowing JuD’s political wing, MML, to participate in the Lahore by-election.

Some experts were concerned about the emergence of militant groups joining mainstream politics in Pakistan. They maintain that the political trend seen in Lahore’s by-election, where parties linked to militant groups are able to mobilize and generate sufficient numbers of votes within a very short period of time, as alarming.

“There should be a debate on this sensitive issue through social, political and media channels. By allowing militant-based political parties to integrate into mainstream politics, it will only escalate radicalization in the society,” Khadim Hussain, a Peshawar based political analyst, told VOA.

“There are people who believe with the merger of such militant groups into politics, we’ll provide them an avenue to maintain a political presence without leaving their extreme ideologies,” Hussain added.

Army’s support

Earlier last week, Pakistan’s army acknowledged they are mulling over plans to blend the militant-linked political groups into the mainstream political arena.

Some analysts side with MML, arguing the party should be allowed to participate in elections.

“I do not understand in what capacity the election commission has rejected MML’s application to register as a party,” said Ahmad Bilal Mehboob, the head of Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT).

“Did they (MML) break any law? If not, how can you bar MML from entering the mainstream politics when they’re doing it through legitimate ways,” Mehboob emphasized.

Zubair Iqbal, a Washington-based South Asia expert, also raised concerns over the validity of the decision.

“This is how democracy works. … There are some extreme groups, some moderate groups and no one should be stopped because of their extreme ideologies,” Iqbal told VOA. “The extremist groups can be barred from entering into the politics only through people and democracy.”

“Unless these parties and individuals are allowed to participate in the political system they might never change their extreme ideologies and might continue operating underground which will prove to be more dangerous,” Iqbal added.

International pressure

In the past few years, Pakistan has faced escalating pressure from the international community for not being able to crackdown on militant groups enjoying safe havens in Pakistan and launching attacks in neighboring countries.

In his recent speech on the region, U.S President Trump put Pakistan on notice to take actions against safe havens in Pakistan. Pakistani officials deny the existence of safe havens on its soil.

Pakistan is also accused of being selective in its pursuit of terror groups. It allegedly goes after only those groups that pose a threat to the country’s national security, ignoring others that threat India and Afghanistan.

Pakistan rejects the allegations and reiterates its stance of having no sympathy for any terror group operating in the country.(VOA)