Professor Anjum James Paul, head of Pakistan Minorities Teachers Association invokes Interior Minister of Pakistan Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to take action against the biased content of the textbooks used in schools. He urged the Interior Minister to thwart publishing of any such material which fans the flames of religion based extremism in the country.
In his letter he provided few examples of hate content along with references to the textbooks. The textbooks were published by Punjab Curriculum And Textbook Board Lahore in 2016. An excerpt from Professor Anjum James Paul’ letter to the Interior Minister is as below:
Mr. Nisar Ali Khan
Federal Minister for Interior
Govt. of Pakistan
Subject: National Action Plan and Pakistani Non-Muslism
Greetings and Peace from Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA)
PMTA would like to draw your kind attention on the subject cited above.
The material in present Pakistani textbooks can be the best judge for you to observe the implementation of National Action Plan. Pakistani Textbooks are the main hindrance to root out extremism from Pakistan as the material of the textbooks promotes violence, hatred and extremism particularly against non-Islamic religions and non-Muslims. There is a wave of extremism and intolerance against non-Muslims who are facing religious persecution.
Pakistani textbooks have become nurseries of extremism and terrorism. Non-Muslims are leading their lives in harassment. They are forcibly converted to Islam and are facing persecution on religious basis. They are not being protected according to the Constitution of Pakistan and National Action Plan 2014 and they are a soft target of extremists.
PMTA is unable to understand what sort of reports will be submitted to the Federal Ministry of Interior by the provinces on July 1, 2016 to root out terrorism. “The State shall safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of minorities, including their due representation in the Federal and Provincial services.”(Article 36 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973)
The material promoting hate and extremism will be considered crime under Anti-Terrorism Act and strict action would be taken against the printers and publishers who will publish such material. Effective steps would be taken to stop religious persecution (National Action Plan 2014)
Sir it is requested you to root out extremism and terrorism from textbooks to root out terrorism from Pakistan.
With Best Regards
Prof. Anjum James Paul.
Copies of this letter were sent to President of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chief Justice of Pakistan and Federal Minister for Human Rights.