Textbook definition of ‘Baloch’ shocks Senate

Published: March 16, 2016
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Sindh, Punjab CMs promise to hold inquiry and share findings with parliament.

Sindh, Punjab CMs promise to hold inquiry and share findings with parliament.

ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers in the upper house of parliament were shocked to learn on Tuesday that textbooks in Punjab and Sindh define the Baloch as an ‘uncivilised people’. Subsequently, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani took up the matter with the chief ministers of the two provinces.

Rabbani called up Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to point out the abusive definition of the ‘Baloch’ in Sociology textbooks of Intermediate Part-II. A day earlier he raised the issue with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.

Shah promised to hold an inquiry and share its findings with the house whereas Shahbaz informed the Senate chairman that he had already ordered an inquiry into the matter.

According to a statement issued by the Senate Secretariat, Rabbani said the abusive definition of ‘Baloch’ was an attempt to expose the country to uncertainty and discontinuity in the democratic process.

The ‘Baloch’ are the ‘pride of Pakistan’, Rabbani said and reiterated that the Senate would make all-out efforts to ensure that the youth of Pakistan was provided with factually and historically correct information.

On March 11, National Party Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi drew the house attention to the incendiary definition through a point of public importance. Waving a copy of the Sociology textbook in the house, he said: “This is what the children of Punjab are taught.” Chairman Rabbani looked on in disbelief as Shahi read out the definition of the ‘Baloch’.

“Meaning of the Baloch is an uncivilised people who remain busy fighting and killing. In another dictionary, it has been written that the Baloch are those people who lived in the desert and looted caravans,” Shahi read from the textbook.

Further reading from the book, he said: “The Baloch do not allow their women to work.” A visibly angry Shahi added. “Allow me to say that the book’s authors are ignorant,”

In response, leader of the house Raja Zafarul Haq said that “it was a conspiracy against the country,” and expressed surprise over the fact that it had gone unnoticed for so long.

Rabbani informed the house that the Senate Secretariat has started an exercise of looking into textbooks so that they would accurately and factually represent constitutional history.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Rollin & Trollin
    Mar 16, 2016 - 11:54AM

    Baloch people are closer to Iran thus making them even more ‘civilized’ than the rest !Recommend

  • Parvez
    Mar 16, 2016 - 12:48PM

    This has been deliberately done with malicious intent…….heads MUST roll. Simply disgraceful.Recommend

  • Sajjad
    Mar 16, 2016 - 4:28PM

    well, nothing new, anyone who has problems speaking saaf urdu is considered illiterate in pakistan anyways. Recommend

  • Brainy Bhaijan
    Mar 16, 2016 - 4:47PM

    This is deliberate attempt and will only fuel dissent.Recommend

  • Noor muhammad memon
    Mar 16, 2016 - 4:54PM

    Simply unbelievable! How did this happen in Sindh where Balouchs are highly placed in every field AND where balouch is a repected caste/name.Looks like a consiparcy.I believe there is govt.panel that clears textbooks.
    May I add that this can happen only in Pakistan where ACCOUTABILITY is next to NILLRecommend

  • SayWat?
    Mar 16, 2016 - 5:54PM

    Is there a Proof Reading, Auditing etc before the book goes to press or not? At the least its the waste of money to start with. There are dozens other areas who are bent on uncivilised mindset than Baloch. Very Shocking to see the auditioning and checking department folly!Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Mar 16, 2016 - 7:20PM

    Why is this a surprise?

    Over 10 years ago, I read few articles and write-up’s in Dawn that said Pakistan’s school text books have lot of hate content and spill venom on hindus. Not just this. School plays and dramas always show hindus as an evil, conspiring and back-stabbing characters. Young children play out these dramas in school functions. Every Pakistani muslim knows and every muslim parent also knows. About 5-7 years ago, Punjab government under Shabaz Sharif said that they would revise the school text books and remove the hate material. They revised, only to add more hate material. Shabaz Sharif is an evil man and so are many in his government. But, Nawaz Sharif is a good man. He was also not so earlier, but today he is a good man. Most of PTI senior members are also evils. Watch what Ali Mohammad Khan say in TV talkshows on hindus, and he means hindus of Pakistan also and not just hindus of India. Pakistani school text books have lot of insulting and hateful material not just on Baluch but on Hazaras and others too. What do most Pakistanis call Christians who work in their homes. They call them churis and churas – meaning untouchable. Most Punjabis think that Pathans are uneducated, untrustworthy, thieves and thugs. Had Urdu not been the national language, and had Mohajirs not been in so much numbers and had they not been better educated and hardworking than others and had they not been muslims (but say Christians), they would have faced lot more injustice and hatred than what we see today. They would then be no better than hindus or christians in Pakistan today. Musharraf refused to accept the dead bodies of Pakistani soldiers who died in the Kargil war. India had to give them proper burial in India. Would he have done so had these soldiers who sacrificed their lives for Pakistan not belong to FATA but are Punjabis? Recommend

  • bash gul
    Mar 16, 2016 - 8:00PM

    In fact all textbooks should be checked. There are so many typographical errors, that misguide the students of primary and middle classes. This shows the standard of of education of people who are entrusted with producing textbooks for schools and colleges.Recommend

  • Sohrab
    Mar 16, 2016 - 8:18PM

    In Iran, Baloch also face racism, they’re looked down upon as uncivilized unfortunately. Recommend

  • sam
    Mar 17, 2016 - 1:00AM

    @ Raj-USA … What have you been drinking before writing these non-sense ?

    Have you studies in the elementary school of Pakistan ?

    Better clean your own mess in INDIA , where caste system is the worst, rather than interfering in our matters. Recommend

  • iProve
    Mar 17, 2016 - 8:17AM

    @Raj – USA: Tell me; that was a fluke, Sir! Didn’t work this time. That has no basis.Recommend

  • Zaida Parvez
    Mar 17, 2016 - 8:36AM

    Totally unfair. No wonder they want independence from Pakistan. Recommend

  • Tariq Amir
    Mar 17, 2016 - 7:01PM

    I am really surprised by this news. Strict action should be taken against the responsible. But I must add that as far as I remember, I never read such kind of thing in my social studies books or Pak studies books. All the major nationalities are presented in a good light. Recommend

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