Gilgit-Baltistan: Foreign Funding to Seminaries

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ISLAMABAD (Dawn): Religious institutions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa collected Rs30.46 million from foreign countries/institutions during the last five years, the interior ministry said in a report submitted to the National Assembly on Monday.

Some heads of institutions in Sindh also visited foreign countries and collected funds. On the other hand, the government of Punjab, Balochistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Islamabad capital territory administration claimed that religious seminaries in their jurisdictions were not getting any foreign funding.

Replying to a question of MNA Qudsia Arshad regarding foreign funding to religious seminaries, the home department of Sindh added that as per report of the police special branch, some heads of institutions visited Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE to collect funds but detail of the funding could not be collected.

The government of KP stated that it had no mechanism to ascertain the details of financial assistance provided by foreign countries to the religious seminaries because there was no restriction on the madresshahs to receive financial assistance from abroad. However, according to the special branch of the police, Madressah Taleemul Quran in Summer Bagh of Dir Lower received Rs10 million from Al Furgan, an NGO of Kuwait. The same NGO also paid Rs8 million, Rs3 million and Rs8 million to Madressah Arf bin Malik in Upper Dir and Madressah Umul Quran and Madressah Al Furqan in Dir Lower.

An institute of Norway gave Rs1.46 million to Madressah Arabia Taleemul Islam, Madressah Abu Bakr Siddiq, Madressah Islamia of Tank, and Madressah Mariful Islamin Bhatyara of KP. The government of Gilgit-Baltistan sent a nil report in respect of their districts of Ghizer and Hunza-Nagar but report about the remaining five districts was awaited.

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