Inquiry over 'offensive' content in Pakistani textbook

Islamabad: Authorities in Pakistan's Punjab province has ordered an inquiry over offensive content in a sociology textbook, even after the publisher tendered a public apology, the media reported on Monday.

The book "Sociology of Pakistan", written by Abdul Hameed Taga and Abdul Aziz Taga, generated controversy after excerpts from a chapter on the Baloch people were circulated on social media, Dawn online reported.

The book referred to the Baloch nation in derogatory terms, calling them “uncivilised people” who “lived in the desert and looted caravans”.

According to a statement released on Sunday, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif constituted a two-member committee to investigate the publication of offensive content and asked how the error was unnoticed until now. He has also directed the committee to ascertain who was responsible for this negligence.

The committee will also review existing mechanisms to check the quality of content being published by private authors and publishers.

In a newspaper ad, which appeared in an Urdu language daily on Sunday, the publishing house claimed that the source of the "offensive" description of the Baloch was a Persian-language dictionary.

They also claimed as soon as the material was brought to their notice, they recalled the book from the market and issued a fresh edition after editing out the offending section.

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