LAHORE - Wafaq ul Madaras Al-Arabia, an umbrella body with which a host of religious seminaries are affiliated, has denounced any change in the curriculum and system of education for the religious seminaries without consultation and its approval. It also vowed to protect the independence and autonomy of the seminaries, saying, no interference from the government or any other agency will be tolerated. It has also decided to introduce Aalmia (equivalent to MA) degree in the affiliated seminaries, with first examination for Aalmia Part-I scheduled later in the year. Similarly for the female counterparts, a new course Aalia equivalent to BA and spanning over a period of four years is also introduced. Another two years of studies after Aalia will lead to Almia, the MA degree. This was revealed by Nazim-e-Aala Wafaq ul Madaras Maulana Mohammad Hanif Jalandhri at a news conference on Sunday at Jamia Ashrafia who was accompanied by Hafiz Asad Obaid, Maulana Fazal-e-Rahim, Qazi Mehmood ul Hasan Ashraf and Maulana Mujib ur Rehman Inqilabi. They announced the decisions of a meeting of the Executive Committee and Majlis-e-Shoora (General Council) held earlier in the day, which was attended by Maulana Salimullah Khan, Mufti Mohammad Rafi Usmani, Maulana Fazal-e-Rahim, Maulana Abdullah Jan, Mufti Kifayatullah, Maulana Musharraf Ali Thanvi, Dr Saif ur Rehman, Maulana Habib ur Rehman Darkhasti, Maulana Qasim and about 300 other religious leaders. During the news conference, they expressed concern over the government pronouncement for introducing reforms and changes in the curriculum unilaterally, stating that the government did not contact the representative body during one year after its inception. In these circumstances, the Wafaq had constituted a 31-member committee headed by Mufti Rafi Usmani to consider the issue regarding the curriculum, they added. The also informed the newsmen about the decision to resist any attempt to abolish Quranic verses from the syllabus of government schools. They, however, said any positive proposal and decision favourable to madaras would be welcomed. The Majlis-e-Shoora also expressed concern on the investigation and distribution of forms in the madaras for information and termed it as a conspiracy against the madaras (seminaries). The meeting welcomed Swat Peace Accord and enforcement of Nizam-e-Adl and urged President Zardari to sign the agreement at the earliest. The meeting also condemned fake video of flogging of a girl in Swat and demanded punishment to the NGOs involved in the act to defame Islam. It also urged the government to act for stopping US drone attacks and evolve a free foreign policy. The meeting alleged that the recent acts of terrorism were carried out by foreign intelligence agencies and were a result of faulty policies of the government.