ISLAMABAD- The treasury bench of the National Assembly today opposed a resolution demanding to lift the ban on YouTube while another resolution seeking improvements in the curriculum and the disciplinary processes of religious seminaries was passed in the House.

Both resolutions were tabled by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNAs from the opposition. MNA Shazia Marri, submitted the resolution seeking to lift the ban imposed on YouTube. Ms Marri was of the view that YouTube was accessible through proxy websites and there was no point in maintaining the ban. The resolution was opposed by the treasury members of the House while speaker of the National Assembly, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, delayed the matter.

While submitting the resolution relating to seminaries, PPP MNA Nafisa Shah said a majority of the madrassahs were playing a constructive role but many were also engaged in promoting sectarianism and extremism. She added that science should also be taught as a subject in religious schools. Speaking on the resolution, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Mohammad Yousuf pointed out that there were 8,000 seminaries teaching science as a subject and added that consultations were underway over the formation of regulatory authority for religious schools.

Sardar Muhammad Yusuf said the government is consulting with Ittehad-e-Tanzeemat-e-Madaris to bring reforms in seminaries. He said over eight thousand seminaries are already providing contemporary education and the government is ready to facilitate other seminaries to introduce contemporary subjects in their curricula. He said that negotiations are being held with the stakeholders to establish a Regulatory Authority for seminaries.

The House also adopted another resolution urging the government to impose immediate ban on telecasting of immoral programmes by private and public TV channels. Another opposition member from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Kishwar Zehra, expressed dissatisfaction over the explanation given by Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar over the granting of $1.5bn by a 'friendly' country. Moreover, Awami Muslim League (AML) president Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed staged a walk-out protesting lack of quorum in the House.