ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government has removed Management Director Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PCTB) Rai Manzoor Nasir, who recently banned 100 textbooks after finding glaring mistakes and material that was declared anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan by committee of experts.
The Punjab chief minister ordered his transfer without hearing him and following pressure from influential groups.
Talking to The News, Rai Manzoor Nasir explained that the 100 textbooks, which were taught in educational institutions of Pakistan, contained factually incorrect anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan information.
He said PCTB had decided in February 2020 to scrutinise all books which are being taught in private schools in Punjab province. Committees of experts were constituted and finally 100 books were found which had anti-Islam, anti-Pakistan content and incorrect information. Rai quoted the following examples of the textbooks banned;
– Verses (Arabic Text) of Holy Quran have been wrongly written in Islamiat, Class 3;
– Objectionable content about religious personalities included in Deenyat, class 5;
– One verse of the Holy Quran and one Hadith has been wrongly written (Arabic Text), Urdu Qawaid, class 4;
– Translation of Surah Fateh has been published incorrectly in Islamiat, class 2 published;
– Many books have shown the AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan area as part of India;
– In dozens of books, it has been mentioned that there are FIVE provinces of Pakistan while Article 1 of the Constitution narrates that there are four provinces;
– Population of Pakistan has been written 180 million, Social Studies Class3. Furthermore, the total number of countries in the world are written as 193. Both of these figures are incorrect, Population was 207 million as per 2017 census;
– Length of borders of Pakistan with China, Iran, Afghanistan and India is incorrectly mentioned in Social Studies, Class 3.
– Divisions of Punjab, Census and population of Karachi have been incorrectly written in Social Studies for class 5. In the same book, it is written that Sir Syed Ahmed Khan joined East India Company in 1938 (He died 40 years ago in 1898).
Rai said that more than 500 books have been scrutinised by PCTB and out of these 100 have been banned. Publishers have been directed, under the PCTB Act, to withdraw their stocks immediately. They were told that they would be given NOC by PCTB once they submit the corrected version of the books.
He explained that as per the legal procedure for publishing any book, the author/ publisher has to submit manuscript to PCTB for NOC before printing of the book. However, he disclosed that the publishers of 100-banned books did not submit the manuscripts to PCTB because of which these books are full of serious errors and also contain blasphemous material.
Rai added that all publishers have admitted their faults and are rectifying those after having meetings with the PCTB. He said that none of the action of PCTB can be challenged as these are factual mistakes and are in written form.
Rai when asked did not comment on his removal but sources said that he has been removed following pressures and propaganda by the vested interest groups. Rai, however, confirmed that he has not been heard by the chief minister before removing him.
The officer said that the PCTB is governed under PCTB Act, 2015. He added that the books have been banned under section 10(5) of the Act which is reproduced as under: