A research analyst at the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) has expressed concern over religious schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan becoming breeding grounds for terrorists.
In her virtual speech at the 48th session of UN Human Rights Session Anne Heckendorff said, “It is well-known that the menace of terrorism in South Asia has largely grown out of religious schools, the so-called Madrassas. These schools that often times instil a distorted, ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam still flourish uninhibitedly in Pakistan and Afghanistan”.
She said, “The Taliban and the dreaded Haqqani network were born from such Madrassas in Pakistan. Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and other terrorist organisations continue operating such terror factories in Pakistan under the protection of the country’s powerful intelligence agency”.
In Pakistan and Afghanistan, there are numerous illegal `madrasas’ or religious schools which force the youth towards `jihad’ or holy war. They teach them hatred against other religions and motivate them towards gun culture.
Heckendorff told UNHRC, “The International Community must not be appeased with the Taliban’s false promises of education. What is schooling worth, if instead of raising a workforce capable of leading their country onto a path of peace and development, creates foot soldiers indoctrinated into a worldview defined by misogyny and hatred?””The lack of economic independence of the Taliban and their patron State next door has a silver lining: it gives leverage to the international community. Leverage that must be used to prevent the loss of another generation of young Afghans to Madrassa-bred radicalism”, she said in her speech.
The research analyst concluded by saying, “Placing conditions on diplomatic and economic engagement to ensure human rights-conform education, without which the right to development can hardly be realized, is the most meaningful investment we can make in Afghanistan’s future”.