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Sunday June 23, 2024

Sindh directs police to register, geotag seminaries across province

As per the official correspondence, the home minister directed the Sindh CTD to take the lead under the supervision of the Sindh CTD DIGP Asif Aijaz Shaikh

By Imdad Soomro
June 10, 2024
Police officials standing guard on a road. — AFP/File
Police officials standing guard on a road. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Sindh government has directed the Sindh Police to register and geotag madressahs across the province and repatriate illegal foreign students and teachers studying and teaching there.

Bilaluddin Shaikh, Planning, Policy, and Coordination Specialist of the Sindh Home Department, in a letter addressed to the inspector general of Sindh Police quoted a meeting held on June 5, 2024 under the chairmanship of the home minister regarding the efforts of the counter-terrorism department (CTD) of Sindh Police in countering terrorism and extremism under the ‘Revised National Action Plan 2021’.

The letter said that in the same meeting, the home minister expressed his concerns over the non-implementation of the 31st Provincial Apex Committee decision which requires the implementation of the registration and geotagging of madressahs and repatriation of illegal foreign students and mohtamams (teachers) studying and teaching in madrassas.

As per the official correspondence, the home minister directed the Sindh CTD to take the lead under the supervision of the Sindh CTD DIGP Asif Aijaz Shaikh, assisted by deputy inspector generals (DIGs) of all zones and ranges, special branch, and district police.

The letter added that a joint team will be constituted by the IGP in coordination with the commissioners and intelligence agencies to devise a plan for implementation of the 31st Provincial Apex Committee’s decision requiring illegal foreign students to be deported.

The joint team will be responsible for executing the plan and submitting the results to the Sindh home department for geo-tagging and registration of all madressahs in Sindh province to liaise with the Directorate General of Religious Education (DGRE), which is mandated by the federal government to register and regulate madressahs through regional and district facilitation centres to verify the number of madressahs registered by the Directorate General of Religious Education (DGRE) and cross-check this information with Sindh Police records.

The joint team will also enhance liaison with the DGRE to ensure that registration and geo-tagging records are consistent and to verify the number of local and foreign mohtamams (teachers), as well as the source of funding received for each madressah to check the number of local and foreign students and teachers, including those who are illegally staying and need to be repatriated.

It said that for the implementation of the aforementioned directives, the DIGPs of zones and ranges, special branch, and district police will provide all necessary logistical support to the CTD DIGP, based on whose recommendations the district police will take action. If required, the CTD DIGP may also seek assistance from other the LEAs and intelligence agencies.

The same directive clarified that the tasks already assigned to the special branch of the Sindh Police concerning matters related to madressahs may remain in effect and the tasks mentioned above may be considered as a special assignment for the Sindh CTD DIGP.