ISLAMABAD: The world’s first Urdu-Russian dictionary, compiled by Uzbek scholar Dr Tashmirza Khalmirzaev in a record three months, was launched here on Wednesday.
Addressing the gathering at the launch ceremony, Khalmirzaev termed the day ‘unforgettable’, saying “it was my life’s mission to compile an Urdu-Russian dictionary to help speakers of both languages come closer.”
He thanked his Pakistani counterparts for their help in achieving the task in a record time.
“I especially want to thank Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan for his assistance… It is an honour for me that Dr Qadeer has called me a close friend,” said Khalmirzaev.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, he said that a new era was dawning in terms of Pakistan’s relationship with Russia and other Central Asian states. He regarded Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to Pakistan this September a milestone achievement. At the same time, he urged the Pakistani government to promote Urdu in Russia and other Central Asian states.
Khalmirzaev is a renowned Uzbek scholar, former diplomat and a Sitara-e-Imtiaz recipient for rendering invaluable services for the Urdu language. Pakistani Nuclear Scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, who was present at the launch, said his acquaintance with Khalmirzaev is 30 years old.
“He was an officer of USSR… I don’t know if he was keeping an eye on me, but I was indeed following him and we later became friends,” said A Q Khan. He added that “it was a privilege to support Dr Khalmirzaev in his objective.”
The ceremony, organised under the aegis of the National Language Authority and the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, was attended by several Central Asian diplomats and envoys.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2012.