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‘Bush’ poem spells trouble for Pakistani leader

Pakistan has ordered that a poem in which the first letters of each line spell out the name "President George W. Bush" be deleted from a school textbook.
/ Source: Reuters

Pakistan has ordered that a poem in which the first letters of each line spell out the name "President George W. Bush" be deleted from a school textbook.

The Education Ministry said the poem "The Leader" was unacceptable as it had been downloaded from the Internet and was anonymous.

A ministry statement seen on Tuesday accused those responsible for compiling the English textbook of "oversight" and "negligence" and warned them to be more careful in future.

The move came after local newspapers published the poem on their front pages and called it an embarrassment for Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, a key ally of Bush in his global war on terrorism.

Hard-line Islamist parties oppose Pakistan's alliance with the United States and accuse Musharraf of trying to secularize the Islamic educational syllabus under pressure from Washington.

The Education Ministry said the textbook would continue to be taught without the controversial poem for the present school year to next March but it would be replaced by "a suitable alternative by other publishers" next year.