ISLAMABAD - A Senate panel was informed on Wednesday that the military courts have not started their work as the government has yet to complete the first phase of establishment of such courts.

The government told the committee that military courts would likely to start work next week. The Senate committee was also informed that the federal government has so far not been able to collect accurate data about exact number of registered and unregistered seminaries across the country and about the sources of their funding.

The establishment of military courts and bringing reforms in the seminaries are one of the two major points of the 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) on Counter Terrorism announced by PM after Army Public School terrorism incident.

National Coordinator (NC) National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) Hamid Ali Khan told the Senate Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges that the process of establishment of military courts had not completed yet. “The government has so far set up seven, out of nine military courts throughout the country —-such courts have been established in Lahore, Sheikhupura, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Khohat, Karachi, Peshawar,” NC NACTA said adding that formation of military courts in Malakand and Malir was still under way.

The Senate committee was seized with the matter of exact number of seminaries in the country getting foreign funding.

He while briefing the committee said that the formation of the remaining two military courts will complete in the next two to three days and all the military courts would likely to start work next week. He was replying on a question of Syed Mushahid Hussain Syed.

The NC NACTA told the committee that so far NACTA have no complete information about the exact number seminaries as well as about the sources of foreign funding to the seminaries. He said that different security agencies have different number from 18,000 to 33,000. Ittehad-e-Tanzeemat-i-Madaris Pakistan (ITMP) claims the total number of seminaries in the country are 26,000. The NACTA chief said that they had circulated a proforma to the provinces to collect details of students studying with these, weapons if they have, as well as sources of their funding.

He said that the government had started mapping of all seminaries with the help of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and was collecting exact data about the total number of seminars, their financial transactions from foreign countries and students studying in the seminaries.

The NACTA chief informed that law enforcement agencies have arrested 29,000 suspects after the approval of NAP. 61 people have been booked in 34 cases registered on charges of illegal business Hawala and Hundi,” he said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab police Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera told the committee that police had no credible information about foreign funding of seminaries in Punjab. Chairman committee said that according to a secret report submitted by IG in last meeting, 147 seminaries have been put under observation for having their connections with militant groups and for getting foreign funding.

However, he said that the government of Punjab was mapping the seminaries in province and was collecting data about these. Punjab government has so far completed mapping of 85 per cent of the seminaries in the province. He said that police were being provided system on the spot verification of Computerized National Identity Card.

Replying to a question by Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel, IGP Punjab said that terrorists have sanctuaries in tribal areas of Punjab but there were no ‘no go areas’ in Punjab. He said that police had recently sealed a seminary at Rojhan, district DG Khan having affiliation with Lal Masjid and with militant elements and also registered FIR against the Khateeb and other management staff.

The chair directed Ministry of Interior to submit a detailed report about the number of seminaries in the country as well as the number of seminaries receiving foreign funding before the committee within one month.