Writers, academics and linguists on Sunday stressed the need for declaring all Pakistani languages as national languages.
They were speaking at different events organised in connection with International Mother Language Day in
Speaking at the concluding session of Pakistan Mother Languages Literature Festival, eminent Punjabi writer Fakhar Zaman said that all mother languages be called as national languages and stressed the need for a bureau of translation be set up for promotion and preservation of mother languages. He also said that government should ensure the implementation of teaching mother languages at schools up till matriculation.
Niaz Nadeem, event coordinator, said that the event has reached out to millions of people through social, print and electronic media and this is power of mother language that attracted them.
Academy of Letters event
In an event held at the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL), Prime Minister’s adviser for National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui said the government would work for the promotion of mother languages across the country.
He said that the government was planning to organise conferences across the country at regional levels including Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Chairman PAL Dr Muhammad Qasim Bughio said that the academy has translated selected pieces from national languages to include them into quarterly “Adbiyat” and English version “Pakistani Literature,” to introduce our literature to the English reading world.
He urged that a national level policy be devised to promote national languages.
Prof Fateh Muhammad Malik said that the government should implement the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the implementation of national language in its real spirit.
Managing Director National Book Foundation Dr Inamul Haq Javed stressed over the need to promote national languages and mother tongues. “There are some languages that do not have any agreed upon system of alphabets so it is essential to focus our attention to develop such system,” he said.
The leading distance-learning university has prepared a plan to research on mother languages to promote them as tools of communication among different linguistic groups.
This was announced in a meeting, organised by the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), to mark the International Mother Languages Day, said a press release.
Speaking at the event, AIOU Vice-Chancellor Dr Shahid Sidiqui said that the university will continue to teach languages in higher classes. He also vowed to strengthen the Department of Pakistani languages in the university.
He further said that language was not just a means of communication but was an important marker of identity for individuals too. He acknowledged that the diverse culture and languages of Pakistan were its beauty and AIOU, as one of the leading universities, would fulfil its responsibility to promote this diversity.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2016.