408 foreigners still in Pakistan madrassas | india | Hindustan Times
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408 foreigners still in Pakistan madrassas

india Updated: Jun 22, 2006 14:43 IST

There are 408 foreign students studying in Pakistani madrassas despite orders to leave, the government has informed the National Assembly.

The students belonged to Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, Finland, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, Niger, Nigeria, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda and the US, reported the Daily Times.

The students were staying on despite orders to leave the country by December last year, Religious Affairs Minister Ijazul Haq said in a written statement.

The minister admitted that there was no code or rules prescribed for the education of foreign students studying in Pakistani seminaries.

He said the government had passed orders to deport them following the July 7 bombings in London.

Most Islamic seminaries, which have mushroomed in Pakistan in the last decade, teach only religious theology, excluding contemporary subjects. They are the main source of education and training for Afghan refugee youths who joined the Taliban.

The Pervez Musharraf regime, under constant pressure from the US and other donor nations, has sought to induct modern-day education in the seminaries and weed out militant elements, but with little success, say media reports and security experts.