At least 106 Afghanis were arrested Saturday in a raid on a religious seminary in Quetta.
Police acting on the governments stratagem to curb rogue religious schools in the country raided a unregistered seminary to find Afghan students residing in the premise without any legal documents.
The arrested students, aged between 14 to 18 years, will eventually be deported to Afghanistan, senior police official Nadeem Hussain told AFP. “We have sealed the madrassa as it did not have any registration documents,” he said.
Akbar Harifal, the Home Secretary for Balochistan province confirmed the raid and detentions. Government had vowed to keep a closer eye on 13,000 religious seminaries, or madrassas, as part of the National Action Plan after the country’s deadliest extremist attack, a Taliban assault on Peshawar’s Army Public School that left more than 150 people dead in December 2014.
With little oversight of what was being taught to the hundreds of thousands of children enrolled in the country’s madrassas, fears intensified after the 2014 attack that some religious schools were breeding grounds for intolerance — or even extremism.
There was no suggestion that the seminary raided Saturday had links to extremism. Pakistan is home to 1.5 million registered and about as many undocumented Afghan refugees, with growing insecurity in Afghanistan impeding voluntary return programmes.
Balochistan, the country’s biggest and poorest province, has been plagued for more than a decade by a separatist insurgency and sectarian killings.