This is with reference to the decision of federal cabinet which has approved a uniform curriculum for all educational institutions in the country, including 30,000 madrasas. No doubt, madrasas have played an unprecedented role in preserving the traditions of Islam and reawakening the consciousness of Islamic solidarity and Islamic way of life. Madrasas have been at the forefront of the independence movement in the subcontinent.

However, a madrasa also plays a complex role in the modern Pakistani society. In addition to imparting instructions to young uninitiated students, these seminaries also serve as sanctuaries for the have-nots. Most of the students of these institutions have either lost their parents or belong to very poor families. Though the option of a life of crime is there, many invariably opt for religious education. Seen in this context, these madrasas are playing a positive role in the society by preventing a vulnerable section of the population from joining the ranks of criminals. The government of Pakistan has religiously initiated madrasa reforms for these students to become a contributory segment of the society. In fact, the whole purpose is to combine Islamic teachings with rational sciences to train the madrasa pupils to become lawyers, judges and administrators.

AFIA AMBREEN,

Rawalpindi, May 10.