Federal govt failed to make Urdu official language: SC

Apex court sends notices to federal and Punjab govts; adjourns hearing for a month

Our Correspondent September 20, 2021
Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP/FILE


The Supreme Court (SC) said on Monday that the federal government had failed to make Urdu the official language.

A three-member bench headed by acting chief justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial presided over a contempt of court petition seeking the use of Urdu as the official language.

“Without mother tongue and national language we will lose our identity,” Justice Bandial stated adding that, “In my opinion, we should also learn Persian and Arabic, just like our ancestors.”

The acting CJP maintained that the apex court had ordered making Urdu the official language in 2015, which the federal government failed to do.

“Article 251 of the Constitution mentions the mother language along with the regional languages," said the acting chief justice as he sought a reply from the Punjab government for failing to introduce Punjabi (as an official language) in the province.

Lawyer Kokab Iqbal has filed a contempt of court petition for not using Urdu language, whereas a contempt of court petition has also been filed by a citizen Dr Sami against the Punjab government for not introducing Punjabi (as an official language) in the province.

Read Urdu as official language: ‘Simple words must be used for better understanding’

The apex court sent notices to the federal and Punjab governments and adjourned the hearing for a month.

Earlier in June, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed for all official engagements to be held in Urdu, with an aim to give due respect to the national language and promote the same, according to a recent notification.

“The prime minister has been pleased to desire that henceforth all the programmes events/ceremonies, arranged for the prime minister, shall be conducted in the national (Urdu) language," read a communique issued by the Prime Minister's Office.

It added that: “Further necessary action to implement the above directions of the prime minister shall be taken by all concerned accordingly.”

Furthermore, the PM was quoted as saying that he was "committed to promoting and giving due respect to the national language."


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