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February 25, 2018

Funds from exchequer to Darul Uloom Haqqania spark criticism


February 25, 2018

PESHAWAR: Providing funds from the exchequer of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to a prominent religious school, Darul Uloom Haqqania in Akora Khattak in the Nowshera district continued to spark sparked criticism.

Most of the politicians are accusing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government of using public funds for personal political gains.

Though KP’s Higher Education Minister Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani said providing funds to Jamia Haqqania was part of their government’s policy of mainstreaming madrassas in the province, rival politicians termed it PTI’s attempt to block revival of the clergy-led alliance of religious political parties, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA).

Former Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl group MNA from Mardan, Maulana Shujaul Mulk, said they were dead sure that the PTI government had given public funds to Maulana Samiul Haq’s madrassa to stop him becoming part of MMA.

“Besides this, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak wanted to oblige Maulana Samiul Haq ?so that he can’t field their nominee against Khattak on the National Assembly constituency in his native Nowshera district,” said Maulana Shujaul Mulk.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Religious Affairs, Habibur Rahman told The News that the provincial government had already given Rs300 million to the madrassa of Maulana Samiul Haq, also known as Darul Uloom Haqqania.

“Yes it’s true, the provincial government has given Rs300 million to madrassa Haqqania last year and now Chief Minister Pervez Khattak directed us to provide Rs227 million more to the same madrassa,” said the minister.

The minister, however, said he had written to the chief minister that they didn’t have sufficient funds and, therefore, his ministry was not in a position to provide more money to the madrassa run by Maulana Samiul Haq.

“I informed the chief minister about lack of funds and suggested to him to approach the Finance Department ?to provide funds to the madrassa,” he said. He added the chief minister had sent a summary to the Finance Department to provide funds to the madrassa.

Auqaf Minister Habibur Rahman belongs to Jamaat-e-Islami which is a coalition partner of the PTI in KP.

According to the minister, 1800-2000 madrassas had been registered with his ministry and only nine had applied for government funds last year.

Asked why the same madrassa was given too much government ?funds, he said chief minister was the chief executive of the province and had decided to fund the madrassa.

However, he pointed out that funds were not given to the madrassa or its administrator directly or in cash.

“They send their demands to the government and the government then approves some of the projects on need basis and allocate funds,” he added.

Mushtaq Ghani said the purpose of providing huge amount of funds to this particular madrassa was due to its significance and number of students enrolled there.

A PTI leader in Peshawar said on condition of anonymity that the PTI chief Imran Khan wanted to counter propaganda against him by Maulana Fazlur Rahman through Maulana Samiul Haq and that is the reason the government provided him public funds to keep him happy.

Two government officials in Peshawar said Maulana Samiul Haq was the only religious leader who was in the good books of Imran Khan.

Maulana Samiul Haq was also hoping earlier that the PTI leadership would get him elected as member of Senate even though his party, JUI-S doesn’t have a single member in any provincial or national assembly.

Maulana Yousaf Shah, a senior JUI-S leader and spokesman for Maulana Samiul Haq, ?denied having received any funds from the government.“Actually the government has upgraded a high school to intermediate level and was now building three blocks, each one of five floors. These funds and building blocks have nothing to do with the madrassa. Some of our political rivals are using this as propaganda against us,” said the spokesman.