ISLAMABAD: In contradiction of his previous statement denying foreign funding of seminaries in Punjab, Inspector General Police (IGP) Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera on Wednesday said that 147 seminaries in the province are financed by foreign funding.
After earlier maintaining that there were no foreign-funded madrassas in Punjab, Sukhera today informed the Senate Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges (SSCRPP) that there were in fact nearly 150 seminaries receiving funds from foreign countries.
He also told members of the committee that law and enforcement agencies, including the Punjab police, are taking action against all those involved in spreading hate speech, following the directives of the federal government under the National Action Plan (NAP).
The committee which summoned IGP Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera to explain his incorrect reply to the Senate was attended by its members under the Chairmanship of Senator Col (Retd) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi.
In response to a question by PPP Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, IGP Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera had told the Senate through a written reply on January 30 that not a single seminary is receiving foreign funding in Punjab.
These revelations were startling in their own right and many senators were astonished to learn that no seminaries in Punjab were receiving funding from foreign sources.
The IG was quoted saying, “The requisite report may be treated as nil. No madrassa involved in receiving financial and training assistance from Islamic countries has come to our notice during surveillance carried out by field formations.”
However, during proceedings Minister for the Interior Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman failed to convince the opposition benches due to the contradiction of the federal government and the provincial government regarding foreign funding of Punjab seminaries.
Later, the Senate Deputy Chairman Sabir Baloch referred the matter to the SSCRPP as the IGP Punjab had breached the privilege of the Senate. The Senate then summoned IGP Sukhera to furnish a detailed report on funding of Punjab seminaries.
The IGP today informed the Senate Standing Committee that the home department is registering all unregistered seminaries in the province with the support of the main leadership of the concerned seminaries.
“The law enforcement agencies also sealed a seminary affiliated with the Lal Masjid in the Rujhan Jaamali area of district DG Khan as the management of the seminary was involved in spreading hate material,” the IGP added.
Sukhera told the committee members that that the police are carrying out surveillance of the seminaries across the province due to the ongoing situation of the law and order in the country.
Members of the committee asked the IGP Punjab to implement the directives of the federal government by following the NAP recommendations regarding the registration and funding of the seminaries in the province.