Turkey to open Imam Hatip school in Pakistan

ANKARA – Leading a four-member delegation, Minister for Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf is visiting Turkey at the invitation of Prof Dr Mehmet Gormez, president of the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs.

During a meeting on Thursday, Dr Gormez and Sardar Yousaf discussed ways to further improve relations between their institutions. The minister said that the government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was keen to further improve relations with Turkey in all areas.

He emphasised on the exchange of religious scholars, officials and students between the two countries and said such exchange would benefit in learning from the best practices in each other’s countries. “The purpose of my visit is to understand the Turkish education system and the Imam Hatip school system in particular,” the minister said.

Dr Gormez said that Turks have great love for Allama Muhammad Iqbal whose philosophy inspires many till today. He said Dr Iqbal was equally revered in Turkey along with their national poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy. He opined that the Muslim world was passing through challenging time and desired that Muslims should stand united to brace these challenges.

The host offered to open a model Imam Hatip High School in Pakistan. The minister thanked Dr Gormez for the offer and said that Pakistan will study the proposal and shall discuss further modalities to give concrete shape to the pilot project. The Turkish model of Imam Hatip School is fusion of Islamic and modern education as it contains as much arts and science classes as normal high schools do.

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