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Minister says knowledge of jihad must for children

August 22, 2013
— File photo
— File photo

PESHAWAR: Every child should know about the actual purpose and spirit of jihad as it couldn’t be separated from the faith of Muslims, said Provincial Minister for Information Shah Farman.

“Jihad is part of our faith. Jihad shouldn’t be held responsible for the act of someone, who misuses it for other purposes,” he told a press conference here on Wednesday.

Like other basic principles of Islam, he said, children should have knowledge of jihad.

To a question about reinsertion of Quranic verses regarding jihad in the textbook of Islamic studies for grade 9 and 10, the minister said that a review committee was formed to look into the matter. “No one can dictate the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led provincial government to change the curricula,” he said, adding that he had not taken dollars from America.

Mr Farman said that after the passage of 18th Amendment making curricula was a responsibility of the province so it would be developed according to the teachings of Islam and Pakhtun culture. He said that curricula would not be changed to please some elements to help them remain in power.

“According to our oath, we will defend Pakistan and Islamic ideology at all forums. No matter if someone is happy or angry,” he added.

Why it was not said in 1980s that Afghan war was not jihad and why the Afghan nation was not declared fundamentalist, the minister questioned.

He criticised the previous governments of Muthahidda Majlis-i-Amal and Awami National Party, saying they changed the curricula of schools on dictation from abroad.

The minister showed some errors in the textbook of history for grade 6 wherein Kashmir was shown a part of India in one of the maps. He also shared some of the co-curricula reading material for primary schools in which a girl wearing skirt was chatting with another girl. The minister termed it against the Pakhtun culture.

Mr Farman alleged that the then education minister in Muthahidda Majlis-i-Amal government Maulana Fazl Ali during his visit to Germany had agreed to introduce changes in the curricula of educational institutions in the province after that several lessons related to Islam were replaced with the other topics.

Citing examples of the changes in curricula of educational institutions in the province the information minister said that an essay the ‘Voice of God’ was replaced with ‘I Saw a Man Who Was Giant’ in the English book for grade 9.