The Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board banned a hundred school books in a single day for containing content deemed “anti-national” and “blasphemous”.

“We are currently examining over 10,000 books being taught in private schools so the banned textbooks could be in thousands once we are done,” Rai Manzoor Hussain Nasir, the managing director of the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board told a private TV channel.

Nasir says he is acting under the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Act, 2015, passed during the tenure of the previous provincial government.

Section 10 of the Act requires an author to seek approval from the Board prior to publishing his/her book. It further gives the Board power to ban a publication which contains “anything repugnant to the injunctions of Islam, or contrary to the integrity, defence or security of Pakistan or any part of Pakistan, public order or morality.”

While content related to Islam in an Islamiyat, History, Pakistan Studies, Urdu or Literature book will need a go-ahead from the religious Muttahida Ulema Board, as well as the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board, before it can be included in a private school’s curriculum.

The managing director has set up 30 committees to pour over 10,000 textbooks of private schools. He says each committee is headed by an “expert” of the subject, whose books are being reviewed.

Amongst the books banned till now, one mathematical textbook had an image of a pig while another printed an incorrect map of Pakistan.