Pakistan has issued new regulations ordering its controversial madrassas, or Islamic seminaries, to register with the authorities or face closure.

President Pervez Musharraf issued an ordinance in the capital Islamabad on Thursday ordering all madrassas to register with the government before December 31 and submit annual reports and accounts. The new law also bars Islamic seminaries from teaching or publishing any literature which promotes militancy or spreads religious hatred.

President Musharraf has also promised to expel some 1,400 foreign students from these madrassas.

General Musharraf came under international pressure after it was reported that at least two of the London suicide bombers had visited the Islamic country before the attacks last month and that one may have visited a madrassa.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.