The government of Pakistan has assured writing a letter to Cambridge demanding the removal of objectional content from the O-level syllabus being taught in Pakistan.
The letter came in response to the strong protest by Senators who raised alarm bells over a chapter about “same-sex family” in an O-level sociology book, terming the content being contrary to Islamic and cultural teachings and values of Pakistani society.
Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Rana Tanveer Hussain assured the Senate that a letter is being written after a calling attention notice was moved by senators Mohsin Aziz and Faisal Saleem Rehman.
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Senator Mohsin Aziz said in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a chapter on ‘same-sex family’ could not even be discussed in the family system, adding that what kind of education was being imparted to a child, hardly 14, 15, and 16 years of age.
Meanwhile, Senator Faisal Saleem feared that such content was tantamount to eroding the respect of parents and teachers in students and strongly advocated immediate action against it. He also called for proper scrutiny of institutions, where such content was being taught and sought cancellation of their licenses.
Responding to the objections of the senators, federal minister Rana Tanveer Hussain assured the lawmakers that a report on the progress made and action taken would be shared with the house while asserting that the content had nothing to do with Pakistan and its values and culture.
“We are immediately writing to Cambridge to either delete the related chapter or we shall not allow such books here. The government will also write to the provinces to take necessary measures in this connection,” the minister said.
Since Islam forbids homosexuality, same-sex sexual activity is prohibited under the Pakistan Penal Code 1860, which criminalizes acts of ‘carnal knowledge against the order of nature’. Therefore, any content which highlights homosexuality faces a strong backlash in Pakistan. Even amendments to the Transgenders Act had also stirred quite a controversy in Pakistan.
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