Monday, January 28, 2013

Illegal Foreign Students In Madrassahs Worry Punjab Police

Of around 444 foreign students studying in Pakistani madrassahs in Punjab province, around 289 are in the country illegally and 275 of those are in Lahore. And although the amount of foreigners studying in Pakistan plummeted after 9/11, the foreign ones have the Punjabi police force still worried, with good reason.

Many of the foreign students have been continuing their stay in the residential madressahs without fulfilling legal formalities, the field report said.

It suggested the Punjab government to direct local authorities to ensure the registration of foreigners at district police level to keep a watch on them on regular basis. Those found violating Pakistan’s immigration laws “should be sent back” to their home country.

The report partly blamed the administration of madressahs for not paying attention to the legal status of the foreign students on their rolls.

In the face of West’s ‘war on terror’- and description of the madressah system as “the breeding ground of Islamic extremists” – the former president Pervez Musharraf ordered, in 2005, that the foreign madressah students staying in Pakistan illegally must leave the country and the legal ones register themselves with the authorities.

Seven years later, the secret police has counted 444 resident foreign students in the madressahs all over Punjab. Interestingly the highest number, 135, came from Indonesia, the next highest were the 99 students from Thailand.

Other foreign nationalities studying in the Punjab madressahs are Kazakhstan (44), China (30), Philippines (28), Kyrgystan (21), Malaysia (20) and Myanmar (9), according to the survey report.
Read the rest here.

And that's just Punjab. What about the other provinces in Pakistan? How many illegal foreigners are studying in madrassahs there, and how many of those are potential terrorists?

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