NEW DELHI - A controversy has erupted in India on Sunday after it was found that the prospectus of a private medical college owned by RJD MP Ashfaq Karim in Bihar's Katihar shows Azad Kashmir as part of Pakistan. India's stated position is that entire Kashmir is its integral part, and retrieving Azad Kashmir from Pakistan is on its agenda.
This comes a day after a row over a Pakistani girl featuring as a "brand ambassador" of government-run programmes in Bihar, DNA has reported.
The Katihar district administration has launched an investigation. Rajya Sabha MP Karim admitted to a "printing mistake" and said, "The copies of the prospectus were returned to the press to make the required correction two weeks ago. We also stopped its distribution."
Karim, also the director of the college, said the college will inquire as to how the wrong map image was printed on the cover page.
He said the purpose of the map was to show Katihar's location to prospective students, who come from across the country. "It is wrong to make it a political issue. Mistakes can happen but what is important is to admit and rectify," he said.
BJP leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh said it was an attempt to divide the country by "supporters" of Pakistan's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah. "Divisive forces are at work to break the nation. It is unfortunate that Jinnah's genie has entered the country," he told reporters. RJD's Shivanand Tiwari also condemned the mistake and suggested that Karim should apologise for it.
A Pakistan girl featuring as the "brand ambassador" of government-run programmes had triggered a controversy in Bihar on Saturday. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ordered a probe into the incident. The girl's photograph was found on the cover page of a booklet and other stationery, published by the Jamui district administration to promote 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' and 'Swachha Jamui, Swastha Jamui' programmes.