American forces in Afghanistan are building madrassas in an attempt to persuade parents not to send their children across the border to Pakistan for instruction at hard-line religious schools.
The planned super-madrassas will accommodate 1,000 boys each
Work has started on two "super-madrassas" in Paktika, which borders Pakistan, and more are planned. The American government is also paying for the refurbishment of mosques in the area, in the hope of winning over religious leaders. The coalition has been under growing pressure over the deaths of civilians and American military commanders say they hope the moves will convince Afghans - many of whom rely on madrassas to provide bed and board for their children - that they are on the same side.
"We are saying that we respect their culture and religion," said naval commander Eduardo Fernandez, the man in charge of American aid efforts in the Sharana district of Paktika. "We have to give the religious leaders the respect they feel they deserve."
Entire article here.