Pakistan minister defends history textbooks

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Pakistan’s Education Min-ister has defended the inclusion in school textbooks of chapters dealing with Hindu monarchs in the subcontinent, saying history deals with historical events and not religious incidents.

The Islamic alliance Muthahida Majlis Amal (MMA) had objected to inclusion of the Ashok and Chandra Gupta Maurya period in history textbooks, whose curriculum is otherwise confined to Islamic periods and its rulers.

The chapters dealing with Hindu rulers were included “so that students have first-hand knowledge of history of the subcontinent,” Education Minister Mr Javed Ashraf Qazi said during a sitting of the National Asse-mbly Standing Comm-ittee here yesterday.
“The work done by Hindu rulers were part of history of the subcontinent. How can we omit it from the curriculum?” Mr Qazi was quoted as saying by The News. However, members of the MMA were not satisfied with Qazi’s remarks, even though a majority of the committee members agreed with the minister, the newspaper said.

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