Courtesy: PTI, Hindustan Times
Citing stark examples from school curriculum, a prominent Islamabad-based scholar has said that extreme religious and anti-India views fed into children in schools reinforced the cycle of extremism that showed no signs of receding in Pakistan.
Pervez Hoodbhoy, nuclear physicist and commentator on current issues, presented the examples at a seminar in the King's College on the role of education in combating terrorism, organized by the Democracy Forum. The examples showed by Hoodbhoy included images and text from a primer that mentioned the Urdu equivalent of A as 'Allah' , B as 'bandook' , Te as 'takrao' , J as 'jihad' , H as 'hijab' , Kh as 'khanjar' and Ze as 'zunoob' . He also showed a college going up in flames, containing images of things considered sinful: kites, guitar , satellite TV, carom board, chess, wine bottles and harmonium .
Examples cited by Hoodbhoy from another curriculum document for Class V students included tasks such as discussion on: 'Understand Hindu-Muslim differences and the need for Pakistan' , 'India's evil designs against Pakistan' , 'Make speeches on shehadat and jehad' .
"There has been a sea change in Pakistan in the last six decades. The poison put into education by Gen Zia-ul-Haq was not changed by subsequent regimes. And attitudes have changed over the years, makes my country alien to me," Hoodbhoy said.
Recalling his childhood in Karachi, he said the city was home to Hindus, Parsis and Christians. "They are all gone. The same is true of much of Pakistan. Minorities have no place in Pakistan today. "