LAHORE - The association of seminaries’ boards of different schools of thought, Ittehad Tanzeemat Madaris Deenia (ITMD), has appealed to the government to come to the table of talks with them to sort out the outstanding issues concerning national security with regard to the seminaries.

The appeal was made in the meeting of ITMD held at Jamia Al Muntazir on Saturday with Tanzeemul Madaris chief Mufti Muneebur Rehman in the chair. The meeting discussed the suspended process of talks with the government.

Wafaqul Madaris Arabia president Qari Hanif Jallundhari, Maulana Fazle Raheem Ashrafi, Hafiz Muhammad Nauman, Maulana Yaseen Zafar of Wafaqul Madaris Salfia, Maulana Muhammad Yunus, Allama Niaz Hussain Naqvi of Wafaqul Madaris Shia, Muhammad Afzal Haidri, Maulana Rehan Amjad and Maulana Abdul Maalik also attended the meeting.

Talking to the media after the meeting, Mufti Muneebur Rehman claimed that seminaries were not receiving funds from Saudi Arabia or Iran, and asked the government to shut the foreign funding sources if there were any.

He added that the seminaries held annual audits as part of government registration process and its record was duly made available to the government. “ITMD has been writing to several government agencies to clarify their stance about the seminaries but none of them replied,” he added.

Mufti Muneeb also demanded that the government agencies must disclose the names of those seminaries allegedly involved in terrorism or stop making baseless accusations against them.

The meeting also decided the constitution of the ITMD and the distribution of offices, under which the president of ITMD would be from Wafaqul Madaris Arabia (Deobandi school of thought), vice president from Wafaqul Madaris Shia, secretary general from Tanzeemul Madaris Ahle Sunnat (Barelvi), Finance secretary from Wafaqul Madaris Salfia (Ahle Hadith) and information secretary from Rabitatul Madaris (Jamaat Islami).