Despite the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government claiming that it is not opposed to the 18th amendment, its members and ministers continue to criticize it and lay all manners of social ills on its doorstep. This odd cognitive dissonance is not limited to the ruling party, the coalition partners in the government also wish for a more centralized government - although their reasons can stretch the limits of believability at times.

The latest to add to this increasingly louder chorus is Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President and former Prime Minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. He claimed that since the provinces took over the preparation of the academic syllabus instead of the federation under 18th Amendment, changes in syllabus were producing anti-Islam, anti-Pakistan and anti-army sentiments in students. What’s more, all this is being conducted under an international conspiracy which is trying to weaken Pakistan.

Such fantastical conspiracy theories are a product of a bygone age with its own strategic goals, but then again, so is the PML-Q Quaid.

The examples he presented of such “inimical’ changes were bizarre as well; lending no credence to the claim that this was being done on hostile international direction.

He lamented the addition of chapters on the “Role of Women in Pakistan Movement”, “Climate of Pakistan” and “The Importance of Happiness”, in the text book issues to 8th graders, saying that these had replaced chapters on Islamic heroes and the glory of the Islamic golden age.

Had the Pakistani state still been in the business of producing “good Muslims” through its public education system this would’ve certainly been a loss. But in modern times, when we are trying to equip our youth with progressive ideals and the necessary tools to complete in a changing world, wanting to add more Islam in the syllabus – when the subject of Islamiyat already exists – is ill-advised.

From the 18th amendment, to conspiratorial inimical forces, to the actual changes deplored, the former Prime Minister was off the mark on each issue.