Up to 45,000 Madrasas in Pakistan continue to train, fund and send terrorists to fight against Afghanistan, the The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Sunday.
According to the MoD, terrorists currently fighting the Afghan security forces are fostered in the Pakistani Madrasas. The terrorists are educated and equipped and then dispatched to Afghanistan to attack the Afghan government forces.
Afghan officials have consistently stated that there is a link between certain Madrasas in Pakistan and the hardline militant groups sent to fight Afghanistan and its international partners. The majority of the terrorists captured by Afghan forces in battles have confessed that they were trained and equipped in Pakistani Madrasas and then sent in Afghanistan to fight.
“There are around 45,000 Madrasas in Pakistan along the border regions and Khyber Pakhtunkhaw. If each of the involved Madrasas recruited only one person, it amounted to around 45,000 recruits a month,” a defense ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said.
Political commentators have cautiously reacted to the MoD claims, saying not all Madrasas should be blamed for involvement in terrorist activities and militancy.
“It is difficult to confirm that all 45,000 Madrasas are involved in training terrorists and extremists, however, some of these Madrasas are involved in such activities,” political analyst Rahmatullah Bezhanpor said.
The MOD statement comes at a time when critics have frequently blamed the Afghan government for not defining a coherent war strategy and ensuring better leadership on the battlefields.
“There is no need for large number of soldiers in a war. The war effort rather requires strong leadership and management to boost morale among existing troops,” political analyst Haroon Mir said.
The Pakistani Madrasas remain a potent threat to Afghanistan’s security.