Rs300m fund for Haqqania
Islamabad—Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Imran Khan has said that the provincial chief minister used his discretionary powers to allocate funds for Haqqania Madrasa without his knowledge and even without informing some of his Cabinet ministers.
Speaking to VOA at his Bani Gala residence near Islamabad, Imran Khan said he was unaware of the funding for Haqqania madrasa until the media drew his attention to it.
Imran Khan said that he has now instructed the provincial authority to submit a report to him to justify the allocation. “Under Pakistan’s constitution, a party chief is empowered to do so and can dismiss a public office holder if he or she goes against party policy.”
He said, the situation is evolving right now. “What we want the KP Government, to do is to announce exactly how this money will be spent, how is it going to mainstream this madrasa, which is one of the main madrasas in KP, and we have been assured by the government that in the next few days they will give us the details about how specifically this money will be spent,”. Both Mullah Omar and Jalaluddin Haqqani – founders of Afghanistan’s Taliban and the lethal Haqqani network respectively – are believed to have studied in the Haqqania madrasa. It is reported that Taliban leader Mullah Akthar Mansoor, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in May, was also a former student.
Haq’s madrasa, where about 4,000 students are enrolled, has been widely known for its links with the Taliban fighting local and U.S.-led international forces in Afghanistan. That association has won the Islamic cleric the title of “Father of the Taliban.”
In his interview with VoA, Imran Khan stopped short of agreeing when asked whether he might instruct the provincial government to cancel the funding for the seminary in the face of growing demands from political opponents, media commentators and civil society activists.“Well, it depends where the money is being spent, if this money is going to mainstream the students who at the moment are marginalized. I mean, again, the party policy is to mainstream the students from these madrasas”. He said there are about 2.2 million students in madrasas across the province and they all come from families unable to pay fees in private or government schools, so there is a need to teach them modern subjects to enable them to get jobs.—NNI