Islamabad: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party led by Prime Minister Imran Khan has suspended the general secretary of its Lahore chapter over posters that featured an insulting slogan targeting the minority Hindus after public backlash, a media report said on Saturday.

Mian Akram Usman put up the poster in connection with Kashmir Solidarity Day, which was observed across the country on February 5, with the slogan “Hindu baat se nahi, laat se maanta hai” (Hindus cannot be reasoned with using words but by force).

Usman, who came under fire from netizens and his party, apologised for the posters that were put up in public spaces in Lahore. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party has suspended the general secretary of its Lahore chapter over a poster that had featured an insulting remark targeting Hindus, Geo News reported.

In the show-cause notice to Usman after his suspension, the party noted that the words that appeared on the posters violated the party’s policy, it said, adding that the notice was issued by party’s Lahore president Zuhair Abbas Khokhar. The matter has been referred to a special committee, it said. Usman had blamed printer for the derogatory posters, saying he had wanted to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi but the printer “mistakenly” substituted Modi’s name with the word “Hindu”.

“I apologise [to] all peaceful Hindus living on both sides of the border. All posters [were] removed immediately when they came [to] my notice. I’m not the one who [is] stuck on mistakes,” he tweeted.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari in a tweet on Thursday said Usman had been “reprimanded and posters were taken off immediately”. She termed it “a shameful and ignorant approach by the individual”. In March last year, another member of the ruling party Fayyazul Hassan Chohan was removed as the Punjab information and culture minister amid intense criticism over his derogatory remarks against the Hindu community.