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Pakistan's new security policy aims to reform madrassas

Published on Mar 2, 2014 7:46 PM

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan plans to bring all of its madrassas, or religious schools, under its national education system within one year under a landmark security policy aimed at combating extremism.

The first "National Internal Security Policy", a copy of which was seen by AFP on Sunday, says that some of the country's 22,000 madrassas are responsible for spreading extremism.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan presented the policy in parliament on Wednesday after a decade-long Islamist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and cost the economy "more than US$78 billion (S$99 billion)".

On the topic of religious schools, the document says: "It is important to mention upfront that not all madrassas are a problem and therefore these must not be viewed negatively as a whole.

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