JUI-F members protest in NA over Afridi's remarks about seminaries.

Byline: Kashif Abbasi

ISLAMABAD -- The National Assembly on Thursday witnessed a ruckus when the members of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) protested over remarks of Minister of State for Narcotics Control Shahryar Afridi about religious seminaries.

The heated exchange of arguments took place during the Question Hour when replying to a question regarding the use of narcotics in educational institutions, the minister stated that a religious seminary teacher had asked his students to use drugs to increase their capacity of memorisation.

The minister had made the remarks when a JUI-F MNA Abdul Shakoor called for enforcing the Madaris system all over the country to check the growing trend of the use of narcotics by students of educational institutions, saying 'there is a complete ban on smoking in Madaris.'

As soon as the minister took the seat, parliamentary leader of the JUI-F Asad Mehmood lodged a strong protest terming Mr Afridi's remarks an attempt to malign the Madaris.

Mr Mehmood,who is the son of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, said the minister had made a 'baseless statement' as part of the ongoing conspiracy against the Madaris. He challenged the minister to disclose the name of the teacher, if his statement was true. He said the minister should tell him the name so that Wafaqul Madaris could take action against him.

The JUI-F leader said the previous government too had targetted all the seminaries despite stating that only two per cent Madaris were involved in terrorism. He said they would not let any attempt to target the Madaris succeed.

The minister once again took the floor and claimed that he had the video footage of the said teacher which he could share with the members. He...

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