Bush deleted from Pakistani textbooks

Embarrassed Pakistani education authorities have ordered the immediate deletion of an anonymous poem that made its way into Grade 11 English textbooks taught in schools near the capital after discovering it was an ode to the U.S. president. The first letter of each line spells out "President George W. Bush," and the poem includes the lines: "Never back down when he sees what is true/Tells it all straight, and means it all too/Going forward and knowing he's right/Even when doubted for why he would fight."

"Federal Minister for Education Javed Ashraf Qazi ordered deletion of the poem with immediate effect as it was controversial in the first place and secondly because it was written by an anonymous poet but made its way into the curriculum somehow," said Chaudhri Ejaz, spokesman for the Ministry of Education, after a high-level meeting in Karachi discussed the poem.

The poem will be eliminated from all future copies of the book, and it will not be taught in the curriculum, Qazi said. Teachers will be told to remove the page from books that are already in print.

Ejaz said an inquiry will be conducted on how the poem was included in the book, published last year by the National Book Foundation. "For this year, the book will go on without that poem as they are in the middle of the academic year, but starting next session, the entire book will be replaced with a better and suitable one," Ejaz said, reports the AP. I.L.

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