The Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday apologised to the nation and ordered an inquiry into the inclusion of the former Pakistan Air Force chief’s photograph in a government advertisement carried by some newspapers to mark the National Girl Child Day.

The advertisement, issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) and aimed at creating awareness of female foeticide, also carried the pictures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, besides several Indian icons.

A committee, led by an Additional Secretary of the Ministry, will look into the episode.

The drama unfolded when the photograph of the former Pakistan Air Chief Marshal, Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed, in uniform appeared along with the Indian leaders in the advertisement, released by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

By noon, the PMO issued a statement. It said: “The Prime Minister’s Office has noted with regret the inclusion of a foreign national’s photograph in a Government of India advertisement. While an internal inquiry has been instituted, the PMO apologises to the public for this lapse.”

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