RAWALPINDI: Pakistan will mainstream the over 30,000 madaris in the country, Director General Inter Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a news conference on Monday.
“25 million Pakistani children are not in school…There are over 30,000 madaris in Pakistan and 2.5 million children receive an education here.”
“The government and support institutions have decided to mainstream all these madaris… Their curriculum will include contemporary subjects… These madaris will be under the Ministry of Education,” DG ISPR added.
According to Major General Ghafoor, the Army Chief had engaged with Ulema from all sects on this and they all agreed that it was necessary to mainstream madaris and contemporary education must be taught.
The syllabus for the madaris would not include hate speech and ensure respect for other sects, said the military spokesman.
He added that madaris students after completing their studies would have degrees and have the same opportunities as students studying in private schools.
Elaborating further, Major General Ghafoor told members of the media that in the first phase since legislation was required a bill was being prepared, in the second the syllabus would be reviewed teaches assigned and finances discussed. In the third phase mainstreaming of the madaris would take place.
According to the DG ISPR, at the start of this process, Rs2 billion would be required and then Rs1 billion annually would be required.
‘India continues to lie’
The military spokesman began his news conference speaking on the Pulwama attack and India’s baseless allegations of Pakistan’s involvement.
“Since the last two months, India has been telling countless lies. As a responsible country, we have not responded to their lies. Lies have to be repeated again and again. Truth only needs to be spoken once,” DG ISPR asserted.
Dismissing Indian claims of massive causalities in Balakot, DG ISPR stated there was no damage done and local and international media had been taken to the site to show them the truth. “We will facilitate Indian media if they choose to come to Balakot to see the truth,” Major General Ghafoor offered.
The DG ISPR also clarified why he had initially said two Indian pilots had been captured. “When there is a war you receive reports from the ground. When I came to the press conference, I tweeted based on reports that there were two pilots. After the news conference, reports were clear that there was one pilot. How is it that you [India] are ready to accept one of our statements and not the other?”
Addressing other lies, Major General Ghafoor said the US stated that there were no F-16s missing from Pakistan’s fleet. “India should tell US to give a statement that Pakistan has one less F-16.”
The DG ISPR added that Pakistan was waiting for the appropriate time to honour our pilots who had downed the Indian planes.
The military spokesman warned India not to test our resolve as the Pakistan Army would defence the people of Pakistan if and when required.
‘Support for Kashmir runs in our veins’
Speaking on the Kashmir issue, Major General Ghafoor said that support for Kashmiri people “runs in our veins.”
“It is in our veins to support our Kashmiri brethren in their independence.’
According to the DG ISPR, Pakistanis were ready all the time to fight for Kashmir and it was in their minds to do whatever it takes for their independence.
“There is a continuous struggle for supporting Kashmiris so they get their rights.”
“If India is sincere for peace in the region, they should hold talks and resolve the Kashmir issue,” he added.
‘No organised terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan’
Major General Asif Ghafoor spoke of the relevance of Pakistan in the region and how terrorism and militancy took root in the country.
He said there was foreign influence in Afghanistan since the last 40 years first with Russian forces and then with coalition forces led by the US. According to the DG ISPR the impact of the Afghan war in 1979 and revolution in Iran led to madaris opening in Pakistan which advocated jihad. He added that sectarian clashes also started taking place due to the influence of other proxies including Saudi Arabia and Iran in the region. “Terrorism and militancy started to sink into our society.”
Speaking on the landscape changing post 9/11, DG ISPR said power contestation in the region was present not only on geopolitics but also on geo-economy. “International powers wanted to force Pakistan to make policies according to their agendas.”
“The concept of Hindutva in India in which Muslims have been targeted raises genuine concern for Pakistanis,” was another reason the DG ISPR attributed to radicalisation.
To overcome the impact of terrorism in Pakistan which was caused due to the operation of international forces in Afghanistan, DG ISPR said since 9/11 kinetic operations were conducted against terrorist organisations.
“There have been 1,237 kinetic operations since 9/11. Near 100,000 IBOs have been conducted all across Pakistan. 17,531 terrorists have been killed. Near 450 tons of explosives have been recovered through operations and IBOs. Weapons were recovered and their training infrastructures were dismantled.”
“Today we can say with conviction, evidence and logic that there is no organised terrorist infrastructure present in Pakistan.”
The DG ISPR said in the policy domain Pakistan passed the anti-terrorist act, counterinsurgency regulation and through an act of Parliament military courts were formed.
Major General Ghafoor further said Pakistan had intelligence sharing cooperation with 70 countries. “We paid the price for this. Over 81,000 Pakistanis including personnel of the armed forces were either martyred or injured.”
“The overall impact on the economy of Pakistan amounted to over $300 billion in losses.”
The DG ISPR also mentioned that while Pakistan was busy in conducting kinetic operations, thrice we had to go to the eastern border.
Action against proscribed organisaitons
The DG ISPR said that after kinetic operations were completed the state of Pakistan decided to take action against proscribed organisations and formulated the National Action Plan.
He dismissed that recent actions against proscribed organisations were being taken due to external pressures. “The state of Pakistan had made the decision a long time back to rid our society of extremism, terrorism and steps were being taken for this.”
“On January 1, 2019, the decision was taken on how to deal with proscribed organisations but there was an issue of finances. The decision-making body decided that execution would be difficult without finances. In February when this was announced, for the first time in the history of Pakistan the government allotted funds for this.”
To control the welfare setup of these organisations, DG ISPR said the government had made a setup that all hospitals and madaris which are not violent and extremist would be brought under the supervision of the government.