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October 9, 2001
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Pakistan to deploy 50,000 policemen at religious schools

Pakistan has decided to deploy 50,000 policemen around the madrassas, or religious seminaries, in the country to ensure that their students do not participate in anti-US demonstrations.

"There are more than 5,000 big madrassas, which would be guarded. Policemen would also be deployed at the smaller madrassas," a senior official of the interior ministry told Online news agency.

"The step is being taken to ensure peace and order in the country. We want people to learn religion, but not indulge in terrorist activities. Islam doesn't teach to break law and order," the official said.

"The police force has been empowered to take any suitable action according to the situation. If they deem fit, they can resort to baton charge and teargas," the official said.

"If anyone is involved in breaking the law or tried to create any problems, he would be brought to book," he added.

"The government cannot accept these organisations' demands of siding with the Taleban when the entire world comity is on the one side. We cannot remain isolated," the official contended.

Religious leaders and students in Pakistan are up in arms against the US strikes on key military bases and terrorist training camps in Afghanistan to flush out Saudi renegade and terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the September 11 terror attacks in the US. Religious parties and activists have been staging anti-US demonstrations in the country since the US asked the Taleban militia in Afghanistan to hand over bin Laden.

Indo-Asian News Service

The War on Terrorism: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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