LAHORE - State security services, on the request of a close friendly neighbouring country, have provided lists of its students getting education in the seminaries of the country, The Nation has learnt.
The country’s leading security services prepared the lists of foreign students of a close friendly neighbour studying in the seminaries and provided the same to them on their formal request to Pakistan.
It is expedient to mention here that the security services carry out surveys from time to time to check the validity of the documents of foreign students, whether studying in seminaries or other educational institutions.
However, the security services collected the data of students, belonging to a close friendly country, studying in the seminaries, following its special request. Sources in the security services privy to the development told this correspondent on Friday that they collected the fresh data of the students getting education in the seminaries across the country and handed it over to a close neighbouring country on its special request.  They declined to share the complete information regarding the special concern of the neighbouring country for getting the data as the country must have the information of its students who crossed the border legally. They, however, added some of them might have established links with certain extremist groups directly or indirectly, while some of them are staying in Pakistan on fake documents after crossing the border illegally.
The security services sources revealed that foreign students getting education in the seminaries of the country belong to around 40 countries, including China, Malaysia, Indonesia, France, Russia, Turkey, Netherlands, Tunis, Uganda, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan as well as Middle Eastern and Western states.
They further disclosed that majority of foreign students were getting education from the seminaries of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh. In the Punjab, majority of foreign students are getting education from the seminaries of South Punjab. It is worth mentioning that many of these foreign students were enrolled by a seminary network being run by a sitting parliamentarian. They added a few students were also enrolled by the seminaries of Islamabad and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. They revealed some foreign students staying with fake documents had been detained some time back while their documents showed they were residents of Gilgit-Baltistan as they closely resembled with the people of that region.
A former head of a leading security service in the Punjab told this scribe that he had found links of some foreign students with extremists, which was highly unfortunate.
He added that some of such students had been deported to their country on its request. In addition, some other students had also been deported after extracting information of their links with extremists.
The spymaster, sharing an incident of modus operandi of ‘grey foreign nationals’ in Pakistan, revealed that such nationals first go to some friendly Muslim state and, after getting new documents in that country, reach Pakistan.
He added that the security services, through a ‘sting operation’ with the cooperation of the friendly Muslim state in which such foreign nationals land to get new documents, caught some of them, and after extracting important information, handed them over to the close friendly neighbouring country to which they belonged.
He regretted some powerful individuals from the Muslim countries with which Pakistan enjoyed close and brotherly relations were directly or indirectly backing the militant networks.
He, however, said efforts had been made at government level to seek the cooperation of brotherly Muslim countries for cutting the financial and other support lines of the militants operating in Pakistan and our close friendly neighbouring countries. He added that the brotherly Muslim states responded with direct action as a result of which a good number of support lines of the militants had been severed, but more efforts were needed in this direction.