ISLAMABAD: The government has admitted that despite the presence of laws monitoring the working of religious seminaries, it often becomes difficult to trace the money transacted to madressahs from abroad.

“Some madressahs are receiving financial support from Muslim countries. However, it is often difficult to trace the transaction of such money,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said in a written reply to a question asked by PPP’s Sughra Imam in the Senate on Tuesday.

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The questioner did not get the opportunity to ask any supplementary question as the chairman suspended the question hour to take up the 21st Constitution Amendment Bill.

The Senate’s library staff removed the annexures containing details of seminaries from the table immediately after the suspension of the question hour.

In his written reply, the interior minister said that laws under which madressahs had been registered were devolved to the provinces under the 18th Amendment, putting the responsibility on provincial governments for implementation of the laws.

He said there was “sufficient control and vigilance” within these laws to monitor the working of seminaries, including checking their financial sources and conducting audit.

The minister said that the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2013 was dedicated to tracking down illegal transactions.

The PPP senator had asked the minister if the seminaries were receiving from some Muslim countries financial and other supports like training of clerics and teachers and development of curriculum.

“The ministry is cognisant of some madressahs and particular classification may be associated with these in terms of security and foreign funding,” Chaudhry Nisar said.

In reply to a question, he disclosed that the federal government had spent Rs10.06 billion on maintaining law and order in the country since January 2013.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2015