British citizens face interrogation on return from madrasahs

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The Independent Online

President Pervez Musharraf banned foreign students coming to Pakistan for religious education after the 7 July London bombings and because of reports that some Islamic religious schools, or madrasahs, were militant recruiting grounds. He said all the foreign students in Pakistani madrasahs would be asked to leave the country.

It emerged yesterday that Pakistani authorities are preparing to send home 648 foreign students studying in Islamic religious schools in the southern Sindh province, a senior government official said.

"There are some 648 foreign students studying in madrasahs in the province," Ghulam Mohtaram, Home Secretary of Sindh, told reporters in Karachi.

A spokeswoman for Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, confirmed that British officials would be interviewing some returned students.

"Clearly we will be seeking further information from some of them."

A Pakistani official earlier said around 1,400 overseas students, mostly from Southeast Asia, Europe, North America and Africa, were enrolled in Pakistani madrasahs and would be sent home.