PTI to release additional Rs227 mn for Sami-ul-Haq’s seminary

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is in the process of releasing additional funds of Rs277 million for its ally Maulana Sami-ul Haq’s seminary, Darul Uloom Haqqania, it emerged.
After the latest release of funds, the official aid to the seminary will increase from Rs300 million to Rs577 million.
For the year 2016-17, the KP government had allocated Rs300mn for the seminary, which also brought the PTI a lot of criticism.
The provincial government at that time defended the move saying it was a part of the policy to mainstream madrassahs.
The recent move to release funds hints at garnering political support in the upcoming Senate elections.
The PTI chief Imran Khan, while defending the move, had said that Maulana Sami-ul-Haq had ensured that he would keep on informing the party chairman about the syllabus and reforms in the seminary.
Imran had said that these students are not terrorists and it was a part of the KP government’s agenda to facilitate and mainstream those studying in a seminary similar to those getting an education in any other institution.
However, concerns were raised as to why only one seminary was reaping benefits of the policy.
It was said that the act was aimed at getting political and moral support from Chief Minister KP Pervez Khattak’s district.
High-level sources at Aukaf department said that a summary was forwarded to CM KP to release Rs277 million for the seminary, which after approval will be released.
Provincial minister for higher education Mushtaq Ghani said that he cannot confirm that more funds are being released to the seminary. He said that the KP government’s vision is to help other seminaries through the aid to Haqqania madrassah, so that these students after completing studies have both formal and religious education and are not dependent on anyone.
The cricketer-turned-politician has long supported negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban as an effective way to an end to the long-running insurgency. But Khan rejects allegations that he supports extremism.
“This is absolute nonsense. It’s just not true. All you have to do is look at my statements for the past ten years,” he had said in an interview responding to allegations that he ‘supports’ the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.
Khan also responded to accusations from former President Asif Ali Zardari, who last year accused the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government of “legitimising militancy and militant Taliban” by allocating Rs 300 million to Darul Uloom Haqqania, a privately-owned seminary notorious for its alleged links with the Taliban.