The Telegraph
Friday, December 15, 2017

Bajwa critical ofmadarsas in Pakistan

First published on 08-Dec-2017
Pakistan army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa

Quetta: Pakistan's army chief on Thursday criticised madarsas that have mushroomed nationwide for mostly teaching only Islamic theology, saying the country needs to "revisit" the religious school concept.

Modernising madarsa education is a thorny issue in Pakistan, where religious schools are often blamed for radicalisation of youngsters but are the only education available to millions of poor children.

Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa's remarks, apparently off-the-cuff during a prepared speech, were a rare example of an army chief criticising madarsas, which are often built adjacent to mosques and underpin Islamisation efforts by religious hardliners.

Bajwa said a madarsa education in Pakistan was inadequate because it did not prepare students for the modern world. "I am not against madarsas, but we have lost the essence of madarsas," Bajwa said in Quetta. Reuters

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