Embarrassment over Indian ad with Pakistan ex-air chief
The advertisement appeared in Indian newspapers on Sunday
Indian officials have apologised after a government advertisement included an image of a Pakistani ex-air force chief alongside various acclaimed Indians.
Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed was pictured with notable Indians such as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and cricketer Kapil Dev in an anti-female foeticide campaign.
The full-page newspaper ad was produced by the women and child development ministry for National Girl Child Day.
The government has ordered an inquiry into the error.
Former Air Marshal Ahmed said the inclusion of his photograph in the advertisement was probably an "innocent mistake".
"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," the prime minister's media adviser Harish Khare said in a statement.
The full-page advertisement appeared in Indian newspapers on Sunday and had photos of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, junior minister for women and child development Krishna Tirath.
The ad also included photographs of two of India's cricketing heroes, Kapil Dev and Virendra Sehwag, as well as musician Amjad Ali Khan.
Many people in India were shocked to see that the ad also carried the photograph of former Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Ahmed, former chief of Pakistani Air Force.
Mrs Tirath said she had set up a committee to find out how the photograph appeared in the advertisement.
"I have expressed regret and also sought an apology on behalf of the ministry over the lapses. We should be cautious so that such mistakes are not repeated in the future," she said.
The minister said the inquiry committee will give its report in a fortnight.
"I wasn't aware about this... I was busy with a golf match and didn't know about this development," news agency Press Trust of India quoted retired Air Chief Marshal Ahmed as saying.
"I guess it's just one of those errors. It must be an innocent mistake," he said.