Pakistan to study Turkish education model: PM Gilani

Nov 30, -0001
ANKARA: Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani Friday said
Turkey's secular and modern education system could inspire Pakistan to change
its methods and system to face the challenges of extremism and terrorism.
In an exclusive interview published in the leading English
Turkish newspaper, "Turkish Daily News" Prime Minister Gilani spoke about the
reforms planned by the democratic government.
He said, "I sent my team of educationists here to study the system (in
The newspaper pointed out that the new Pakistani administration has
declared its priority of modernizing the country through democratic reforms
to overcome the problems of terrorism, extremism and economic crisis.
When asked whether his government's action plan also included
the modernization and even secularization of education in Pakistan,
Gilani said they were already searching for ways to overcome
educational problems.
There are more than 20,000 madrasahs in Pakistan with around
1.7 million students, which came to the attention of the world
particularly after Al-Qaeda's attacks on the United States on Sept.
11, 2001.
"We are regularizing (the madrasahs) so that they should
provide the same sort of education as other educational institutions
(of Pakistan)," Gilani said.
The Prime Minister said education alone is not a solution to
Pakistan's problems. He said democracy is the best way to stabilize the
future of around 140 million Pakistanis.
"People have voted for democratic forces, for progressive
forces and for a change in the system. Therefore democracy is taking
roots in Pakistan and with a transition to democracy, I think things
will move in the right direction," he said.
"I have two policies," the prime minister said. "The first is
to control terrorism and extremism and the second is to build up the
economy. They are interrelated."
The newspaper noted that last week the Pakistani Parliament unanimously
passed a resolution that underlined the country's commitment and determination
to fight terrorism.
The prime minister, in addition to his government's efforts, emphasized
the role religious leaders and scholars could have in this fight.
"When religious leaders (ulema) and clerics start giving
'fetvas' (advisory opinions) that suicide bombings are haram
(forbidden by religion) and they have no place in Islam, then people
will understand because they understand the language of the people
preaching to them," he said.
Prime Minister Gilani underlined Pakistan's commitment to the fight
against terrorism. "We have the will and ability to control and fight
terrorism, but the world should also understand that although it is
fighting under NATO with very sophisticated weaponry in Afghanistan
they have not achieved desired results," he said.
Gilani's trip to Turkey coincided with the 85th anniversary of
Turkey's foundation. When asked about his feelings regarding Turkey, Gilani
said the two countries are actually one nation.
"Their sorrows are our sorrows. Their happiness is our
happiness. Therefore we cooperate in various multi-dimensional fields
and have a lot in common such as culture, tradition, heritage and
more. It is like a second home to me," he said.








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