Afghan pupils ‘misused’ in Pakistani seminaries: Afghan Government

Afghan govtKABUL: The Afghan government on Monday expressed concern about what a Cabinet meeting termed ‘misuse’ of Afghan pupils in Pakistani seminaries.

Chairing an exclusive meeting the Cabinet, CEO Dr. Abdullah Abdullah stressed the opening of a seminary belonging to the Deobandi school of thought to stop Afghan children from seeking religious education in Pakistan.

The meeting, which conferred on problems relating to security and salaries of military officers and the situation of madaris, came hours later police in southern Ghazni province claimed rescuing 25 children from being taken to Pakistan’s Balochistan province for religious education.

Problems concerning seminaries, requests from bachelor’s certificate-holders from a number of unregistered seminaries inside and outside of the country and leadership of madaris in the country were discussed at the meeting.

The meeting called ‘misuse’ of Afghan students in Pakistan-based seminaries as a matter of concern, stressing the opening of a madrasa belonging to the Deobandi school of thought in Kabul so the Afghan youth no longer needed to travel to Pakistan for Islamic education.

The creation of a single academic curriculum for religious schools, allowing madrasa graduates to enter the judicial part and supporting madaris inside Afghanistan were issues the meeting emphasized on.

The meeting finally decided to create a commission led by the education minister with members from the ministries of finance, higher education, justice and representatives from National Ulema Council, the National Directorate of Security and prayer leaders for addressing problems relating to religious schools.

At the meeting, deputy interior minister Mohammad Hamid Tahmasi and Ministry of Defense official Iqbal Ali pointed to inadequate branches of the New Kabul through which the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the police personnel received their salaries.

They said Da Afghanistan Bank (central bank) should also enter contracts with other banks for distributing salaries to security personnel.

NDS chief Mohammad Masum Stanikzai, who also attended the meeting, said privileges granted to the families of martyrs should be simplified. He also drew government’s attention towards the Afghan Local Police (ALP) and uprising groups.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Eklil Hakim asked officials of the ministries of interior and defence to send their personnel’s salaries documents at the beginning of every month to his ministry and also prepare a specified schedule for salaries’ distribution throughout one month.

He said leaving their units by military and police personnel to withdraw their salaries from bank was dangerous, calling for the process to be stopped. He said problems in privileges to families of martyrs were enormous and urged their early solution.

For resolution to problems in salaries’ distribution and the lack of bank branches, Abdullah ordered officials of the ministries of defence, interior, finance and the Central bank, the National Security Advisor, and the chief secretary of Cabinet to hold a joint meeting in this regard and share the results with him.

Meanwhile, Abdullah directed serious measures for facilitating families of martyrs in receiving their stipends in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor, Martyrs and Social Affairs and Disabled.

“There are problems in salaries’ provision to security personnel and the international supporters also have questions from the Ministry of Interior to clarify the exact number of police forces.”

He said the police were being funded by the international community who had demanded an exact number of the force.

The CEO asked Ministry of Interior officials to discuss these issues with international donors in a special meeting to suggest ways for solution.

“Other problems of the security organs are late arrival of salaries, non-provision of assurances and privileges to the martyrs’ families and not reaching of help to the injured personnel.” -Pajhwok

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