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Pakistani President Says Foreigners Must Leave Madrasahs

Pervez Musharraf (file photo) 29 July 2005 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said today that all foreigners studying in the country's madrasahs will have to leave the Islamic schools.

Speaking to reporters in Islamabad, Musharraf said the new order would apply to all of the estimated 1,400 foreigners studying in Pakistani madrasahs. He added that no new visas would be issued to non-Pakistanis wishing to study in Islamic schools.

Musharraf, a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism, also reiterated that all Islamic schools would have to register with the government.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair urged Pakistan to move against radical madrasahs following news that some of the bombers who struck London on 7 July had recently visited the South Asian country.