New Pakistani leader’s education aims may include reining in religious schools

By Naila Inayat | Religion News Service

LAHORE, Pakistan (RNS) — Like several Pakistani leaders before him, Prime Minister Imran Khan came into office vowing to reform the country’s 38,000 madrassas — the Islamic seminaries that for decades have educated the poor while also promoting sectarianism, extremism and hatred for the West.

After taking office in August, Khan said reforming the madrassas was a priority of his government. He wanted to give the estimated 3.5 million children currently enrolled in madrassas an opportunity to pursue mainstream education.

“Madrassa students should be able to become doctors, engineers, judges and generals,” Khan said in his inaugural address.

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