As stated in the beginning of the series, there are three parties to the challenge, and opportunity that the madaris (religious seminaries) present: State, madaris and the society. The latter has always been a recipient of the quarrels and disputes of the former two. The state and the society must understand and appreciate the fact that madaris are a historical, social and political reality of Pakistan, and there is absolutely no way that either the state of the society could pressure madaris into a passive submission. State has tried that numerously, and have always failed. One example can explain it all categorically: The Ministry of Education under President General Musharraf started a “Madrasa Reforms Project” in 2002. This was a five-year program with an estimated funding of US$57.59 million i.e. nearly six billion Pakistani rupees. The government wanted to control the madaris via the Federal Ministry of Interior and that annoyed the private madaris education boards ie Wafaqs. These five Wafaqs represented four major Islamic sects in Pakistan and the madaris education system that is managed by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). Initially, they tried to sit with the government and sought that they should be treated by the Federal Ministries of Education and Social Welfare, as the private madaris boards and their affiliated madaris were, and are mostly registered with the local social welfare and education authorities, mostly at the district and tehsil levels. The federal government did not relent. The five Wafaqs came together in the form of Ittehad-e-Tanzeemaat-e-Madaris-e-Deenia (Union of the Religious Education Organisations), or ITMD. The federal government and the Wafaqs pushed their narratives in opposing directions, and the project resulted in a miserable failure: According to a study of renowned educational expert, Nasira Habib, of the overall allocated $57.59 million, the project could only spend $4.17 million. The project could manage to reach out to only 3.3 percent of the overall expected size of the beneficiaries. The project lapsed in total failure in 2007, and the both the government and madaris establishments were where they were in 2002. Five precious years were wasted. If madaris are apparently sticking to their traditions, it is not for the interest of millions of enrolled students — men and women; it is for the political, social and economic interests of a few dozen national and provincial level leaders who directly benefit from a system that is run in silence The government of Pakistan People’s Party (2008-13) essentially continued with nearly the exact policy that the former dictator-president had tried to implement with little to no political or social insights. Both sides stuck to their positions, and the problem of mainstreaming the madaris lingered. Nearly three campaigns by the PPP government to register the madaris met with only partial success. One statement by Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, Daar al Uloom Haqqani, Akora Khattak (2010) was interesting and revealing of how madaris viewed the government’s efforts to bring them under any form of formal supervision: “The state gives us nothing and we are not dependent on them for anything. Accountability for what?” In short, coercion hasn’t worked, and probably shall not. Madaris on the other hand are also stubbornly grounded and stuck in their traditional approach toward their operations. They carry a worldview that is now outmoded and almost useless. They operate on the academic lines that refuses, discourages, rather rejects the inclusion of the modern subjects. Madaris educate, but they educate to create directionless generations who do not find any fit once they complete their education and out at the mercy of the market. The tilt of madaris toward the traditional teaching and instructional methodologies is not based on their love but for the dynamic of power and control of their systems. Under the traditions that are apparently rooted in the religious instructions, it becomes extremely easy for the madaris’ leaderships to suppress dissent, cull disagreement and bury any form of challenge. If madaris are apparently sticking to their traditions, it is not for the interest of millions of enrolled students — men and women; it is for the political, social and economic interests of a few dozen national and provincial level leaders who directly benefit from a system that is run in silence, and does not have any obligation of any form of public disclosure. The madaris that are inclusive in their nature do not even form tip of the iceberg of over 35,000 madaris in Pakistan. Jamia al-Rashid in Karachi provides professional development training to their graduates, but when they announced such semesters, they faced the maximum resistance and mud-slinging from with the Deoband clergy in Pakistan. In desperation, they sought help and guidance from Deoband headquarter in India. As the Deoband setup in India is much more rational, they allowed it, and Jamia continues with the professional courses. Neither state, nor the madaris benefited from their approaches in the past. Resultantly, society suffered. To stop this, a new approach is direly needed. The writer is a social entrepreneur and a student of Pakistan’s social and political challenges. He tweets at @mkw72 Published in Daily Times, November 13th 2017.