Pakistani textbooks violate the Constitution of Pakistan and Pakistan Penal Code. By Professor Anjum James Paul

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Pakistani textbooks openly violate the Constitution of Pakistan and Pakistan Penal Code but it is so sorrowful that the federal and provincial governments of Pakistan are not interested to take any action against the authors, reviewers and publishers of these textbooks.
These textbooks promote disharmony, feelings of enmity and hatred on the religious basis and due to this Pakistan and Pakistani nation have to suffer. The most recent attack on Bacha Khan University Charsadda on January 20, 2016 has claimed the lives of 20 innocents. The waves of extremism do not spare anyone in Pakistan. There are attacks not only on innocent people but also on the worship places and properties of people and particularly of non-Muslims.
I am astonished to learn that a university in Karachi is going to provide weapons to professors so that they may protect themselves. This is not anywhere in the world that the educational institution become centre of weapons instead of centre of excellence and learning. This is a condemnable act if there is implementation. If today teachers are provided weapons instead of pen then tomorrow students will also demand the same for security purpose. In this way educational institutions will soon become horror centers and weapons will rule instead of pen.
Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA) is making efforts to make Pakistan a moderate country in the comity of nations. This can only be possible when hate speech and material, based on extremism is removed from the textbooks and educational environment wherever it exists.
PMTA has prepared twelve research based documents on the curriculum and textbooks of National Book Foundation Islamabad, Punjab Curriculum And Textbook Board Lahore, Sindh Textbook Board Jamshoro, Balochistan Textbook Board Quetta and Khyber Pakthtunkhwa Textbook Board Peshawar of Pakistan during the period of 2007-2015. Violation of the Constitution of Pakistan has been identified in the research. These documents have been presented to the Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Pakistan and concerned quarters of the government of Pakistan but it is so sorry that the grievance /concerns have not been yet addressed.
The publishers of the textbooks are a threat to the integrity of Pakistan because they are promoting extremism, disharmony, hatred and unrest in the society. It is utmost need that National Action Plan must be active to punish all those who are held responsible to promote extremism, hate and disharmony under the nose of the federal and provincial governments of Pakistan in the shape of textbook boards. It is also needed to take stern action against the private publishers of textbooks as well. Whosoever promotes extremism and disharmony must be treated under law indiscriminatory.
The government of Pakistan must wake up now to punish the culprits who are producing extremists and terrorists in Pakistan. Pakistani textbooks are openly violating following sections of Pakistan Penal Code.
153- Promoting enmity between different groups, etc:
A Whoever
(a) by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or incites, or attempts to promote or incite, on grounds of religion, race, place of both, residence. language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities; or
(b) commits, or incites any other person to commit, any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities or any group of persons identifiable as such on any ground whatsoever and which disturbs or is likely to disturb public tranquillity; or
(c) organizes, or incites any other person to organize, and exercise, movement, drill or other similar activity intending that the participants in any such activity shall use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or knowing it to be likely that the participants in any such activity will use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or participates, or incites any other person to participate, in any such activity intending to use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or knowing it to be likely that the participants in any such activity will use or be trained, to use criminal force or violence, against any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste of community or any group of persons identifiable as such on any ground whatsoever and any such activity for any reason whatsoever cause or is likely to cause fear or alarm or a feeling of insecurity amongst members of such religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community. shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with fine.
Explanation: It does not amount to an offence within the meaning of this section to point but, without malicious intention and with an honest view to their removal, matters which are producing, or have a tendency to produce, feelings of enmity or hatred between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.
295 A Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting Its religion or religious beliefs:
Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the 'religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.
297 Trespassing on burial places, etc.:
Whoever, with the intention of wounding the feelings of any person, or of insulting the religion of any person, or with the knowledge that the feelings of any person are likely to be wounded, or that the religion of any person is likely to be insulted thereby, commits any trespass in any place of worship or on any place of sculpture, or any place set apart for the performance of funeral rites or as a, depository for the remains of the dead, or offers any indignity to any human corpse or causes disturbance to any persons assembled for the performance of funeral ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
298 Uttering words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings:
Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that person or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year or with fine, or with both.
(Professor Anjum James Paul is Chairman of Pakistan Minorities Teachers Associan PMTA)

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