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Consequences for Democracy and Free Society:  Some Public Policy options.


The work on the research project which is to culminate in a policy paper on reform of Madrassahs was started in April immediately after the First IPF seminar in Budapest. The research project is very timely in the sense that government of Pakistan is in the process of developing it strategy for reform of Madrassahs.

Pakistan being a Federal republic the issue of Madrassah education falls in the purview of Federal and provincial government. Hence interviews, discussions were held with experts and government officials belonging to all the four provinces and Federal government.

The project is based on following major components:


·        Literature Review:


·        Survey/Primary Data Collection.


·        Interviews       with  government officials, experts, Madrassah managers and other stakeholders.


·        Focus Group Discussions.



a.      Literature Review:


An extensive literature review was done over the last five months. Articles written by leading academics, newspaper articles, books, research reports, official surveys and documents were collected , reviewed and archived. Many of them will be placed on the project website for reference and sharing with other people.


Following is a list of literature reviewed till know.


               I.      Joe Stephens and David B Ottaway, “ The ABC’s of the Jihad in Afghanistan”, The Washington Post, 23 March 2002. Peter Pritsch, “With Pakistan’s Schools in Tatters, Madrasa Spawns Young Warriors”, The Wall Street Journal, 2 October 2001


             II.      Looney, Robert  (2002).  A U.S. Strategy for Achieving Stability in Pakistan: Expanding Educational Opportunities. Center for Contemporary Conflicts, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Moterey, CA


           III.      Singer, P.W (2001) Pakistan’s Madrassahs: Ensuring a system of education not Jihad. Analysis paper. Brooking Institutions. Washington DC.


           IV.      Ahmad, A S (2002) “Ibn Khaldun’s Understanding of Civilizations and the Dilemmas of Islam and the West Today” The Middle East Journal, Vol. 56, No. 1, Winter. The Middle East Institute, Washington, DC.


             V.      Goldberg, J. New York Times Magazine, June 25, 2000.


           VI.       Stern, Jessica (2000) Foreign Affairs, Vol. 79, No. 6.


         VII.      International Crisis Group (2002) Pakistan: Madrassahs, Extremism and the Military. ICG Asia Report. No.36 Islamabad/Brussels


       VIII.      International Crisis Group (2002) Pakistan and Terrorism: Failed Promises. ICG Asia Report. No.40 Islamabad/Brussels


          IX.      European Union (2002) Research project report on Madrassahs in Pakistan.


            X.       Jamal Malik, “Colonialisation of Islam: Dissolution of Traditional Institutions in Pakistan”.  (Lahore, 1996)


          XI.      Herald,   News magazine, number of issues focusing on Madrassahs.


        XII.      Institute of Policy Studies,(2001) “Survey of Deeni Madris”. Islamabad


      XIII.      Deeni Madris


      XIV.      Government of Pakistan, (1988) Survey of Deeni Madaras in Pakistan. Islamabad


        XV.      Government of Pakistan, (2004) Project Document of programme for Mainstreaming Madris. Planning Commission PC-1 .Islamabad.


      XVI.      Numerous newpaper articles and reports about Madrassahs..


    XVII.      Government of Pakistan (2002) Education Sector Reform . Ministry of Education . Islamabad.


  XVIII.      All laws pertaining to legal frame work for Madrassahs, including drafts of proposed laws.



   b)   Interviews with Key policy makers andleading stakeholders:  Structured and semi-structured interviews were held with the following stakeholders: managers and teachers at Madrassahs and schools; leaders and officials of local government; alumni of Madrassahs ; senior government officials dealing with the issue at Federal and Provincial level, in Ministry of Interior, Education, Home and Religious Affairs, and members of newly established Pakistan Madrassah Education Board


S no




Mr Ejaz Ul Haq

Minister for Religious Affairs


Mr Tariq Mahmud

Federal Secretary Interior


Mr Tasneem Noorani

Former Secretary Interior


Mr Shafquat Ezidi Shah

Secretary Education


Suleah Faruqi

Additional Secretary Education Sindh


Syed Khalid Gilani

Project Director Punjab Education Sector Reform  Project


Nasir Mahmud Khosa

Joint Secretary Prime Minister Secretariat


Mr Imran Ahmad

District Coordination Officer Bhawalpur



Executive District Officer Bhawalpur


Dr Samina Ahmad

Director International Crises Group. Islamabad.


Tariq Masud Yaseen

Senior Superintendent of Police. NPA Islamabad.


Mr Taimur Ali Khan

Senior Superintendent of Police Islamabad.


Dr Anis Ahmad

Vice Chancellor Rapah University.


Mualana Khairpuri

General Secretary, ADDM


Mualana Rasheed Ghazi

Incharge Madrassah Muhammadia.Islamabad.


Mr Rafique

Joint Secretary Religious Affairs


Mr Jahenzeb Burki

Inspector General of Police


Mr Tayyab Saeed

Senior Superintendent of Police


Mr Tariq Pervaiz

Additional Inspector General of Police. CID Punjab


Dr Tariq Rehman

Professor of Quaid e Azam University


Dr A H Nayyer

Professor of Quaid e Azam University, Senior Fellow SDPI


Shahnaz Wazir Ali

Executive Director PCP.


Ghazi Aman Ullah Khan

Magistrate Ahmad Pur East


Stephen Cohen

Professor and Senior Fellow Brookings Institute


Sarah Wright

USAID Islamabad


Barrister Zafer Ullah Khan

Legal expert and Madrassah Alumnus.


Javed Iqbal Awan

Secretary Auqaf Punjab


Khalid Ahmad

Journalist and Editor 


Malik Kazim Ali

Sessions Judge


Mian Asad Hay Uddin

Director, Islamabad Capital Territory. Islamabad.


Hamid Ali Khan

Distirct Coordination Officer Rawal Pindi


Mr Kareem Nawaz

Free lance consultant, researcher, expert on Madaris


Mr Usman Qazi

Community Development and Rural Sociology expert 



c)      Survey/Primary Data Collection: Primary data collection by actual physical survey of all Madrassahs in the two representative geographical regions – Ahmedpur (Southern Punjab) and Islamabad (Capital City) has  been carried out. Data on the following key variables will be collected:


§         Number of Madrassah in the project area, 100% madrassahs has been documented.

§         School enrollment , no of students;

§         Name of manager/Incharge.

§         Sect to which madrassah belongs

§         Break of students who are day scholars or boarders.

§         Funding from sources such as local land-owners, foreign donations, political parties, government grants and other sources.

§         Involvement in sectarian activities.

§         Funding from Zakat if any.

§         Whether registered or not.


The researchers physically surveyed the Madrassahs in the two project areas (Sub-divisions) and collected data on a pre-designed uniform performa. The survey Performa’s were in Urdu (local language). The data has been reflected on excel worksheets. (See annexure A and B)


Apart from above primary data, a lot of data secondary data pertaining to following was collected from government resources, after extensive research at local level government offices, this was a challenging exercise, since such detail data is not available at provincial and federal offices.


·        Number of Public schools in project area (primary, secondary, and high).

·        Village wise population.

·        Average yield per acre for crops.

·        Socio-economic indicators i.e Quality of water and land, provision of electricity, land holdings, road infrastructure.

·        Health service facilities.


All the data collected is using village as unit of analysis. In next phase of the project, following issues will be analyzed in light of the data and literature collected/ reviewed so far.


·        Relationship of madrassahs and sectarianism.

·        Relationship of poverty and Madrassah proliferation.

·        The efficacy of present regulatory framework, and effectiveness of proposed legal framework.

·        Perceptions of madrassah managers about proposed “Madrassah Reforms”

·        Strengths and weakness of proposed “Madrassah Reform” initiative of Government of Pakistan.


d)      Focus Group Discussions: Once data is compiled, and analyses done focused group discussions will be held, with leading religious leaders, government functionaries and officials of Education Ministry in order to revalidate the findings.

A preliminary contact has been established with key policy makers and institutions. 


e)      Course Syllabi reviewed:  The books and syllabus taught in the Madrassahs has been compiled, a large number of books taught in the madrassahs were procured through project support. Since most of the books are in Arabic, these were reviewed with help of a Madrassah teacher. A compilation of all books taught at different levels has been made on following lines.

                                                              i.      Name of the book.

                                                            ii.      Year of publication.

                                                          iii.      Name of author.

                                                          iv.      When was it written.

                                                            v.      Brief narration of contents.

                                                          vi.      Has any review or up gradation done since first publication?

                                                        vii.      It is taught at what level in madrassahs.




Having collected all the primary and secondary data, and procured and reviewed the major literature available on the subject, the project is now entering into a very crucial stage. The analysis of data collected, and its co-relation with the research findings of literature available on subject will be done.


The present policy on Madrassahs and their reform will be analyzed in the light of project research findings. Policy recommendations will be firmed up at this stage and than shared and discussed with all major stakeholders before finalization.


A review of practices (may be best practices) in other countries of region i.e      India and Bangladesh would be done. A visit to Bangladesh for the purpose is planned in Jan 2005.


The draft outline of the research paper, different sections, structure will be finalized in the light of data collected.





                                                   i.      Introduction:

                                                 ii.      Background and Context:

                                                iii.      Situation Analyzes.

                                               iv.      Research Methodology.

                                                 v.      Overview of Literature reviewed on the subject.

                                               vi.      Madrassah Syllabus –An overview.

                                              vii.      Review of Legal Framework-- present and proposed.

                                            viii.      Research Findings and Data collection.

                                               ix.      Analysis of Research findings, and correlation to Policy Questions.

                                                 x.      Madrassah Reform Policy of Government of Paksitan.

a.       Overview.

b.      Madaris Mainstreaming Programme.

c.       Critical Appraisal in light of Research Findings.

d.      Programme specific recommendations.


                                               xi.      Regional Experience of Madrassahs-A case study of Bangladesh (May be India Also).

                                              xii.      Final Policy Recommnedations.





This site was last updated 12/20/04