August 2000 News

1.75 million youth trained for jehad: Report

11 August 2000
The Times of India

Washington DC: About 1.75 million Pakistani youths are being trained in nearly 7,000 madarsas (religious schools) across Pakistan for waging the jehad (holy war) in Kashmir and other parts of the world, according to The Washington Times. More than 2,000 such ''students'' of one particular madarsa were on way to Kashmir, the report said. Quoting Mohammed Ajmal Qadri, leader of the fundamentalist Jamiat Ulema Islam Party, who runs Khuddamuddin madarsa, the paper said about 13,000 boys had passed out of his school. ''There are about 7,000 religious schools, which have prospered in part because of the failure of the state-run education system in a country (Pakistan) where the illiteracy rate among the adults is as high as 70 per cent,'' the report said. Qadri said though the thrust of the training was to send the students to Kashmir and Chechnya, the US was the ultimate target. Any attempt by the country''s military regime to regulate the madarsas would be defied, he said. ''We believe our rules are perfect and we will not allow any ruler, military or so-called elected representatives to change them.''(PTI)


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