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Funding for Islamic Schools Cut

June 04, 2002|From Associated Press

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan has blocked financial assistance to 115 Islamic schools, known as madrasas, because of their alleged involvement in militancy, sectarian violence and terrorism, a senior cleric said Monday.

Over the next three years, the government will release $250 million to about 8,000 Islamic schools, but those on the blacklist "will not get even a single penny," said Mufti Abdul Qavi, a member of the Pakistan Madrasa Education Board, authorized recently by President Pervez Musharraf to purge Islamic schools of extremism.

Qavi said most of the schools belong to the Deoband, Ahle Hadith, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and minority Shiite organizations.

"Madrasas of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and other militant organizations--fighting Indian rule in Kashmir--will also not be eligible for any kind of government financial assistance," Qavi said.

Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba are among the militant groups blamed by India for a deadly attack on its Parliament complex in December.

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