The Lahore High Court on Thursday issued notices to federal government as well as the Punjab government on a writ petition seeking directions to make Urdu the official language of the country.
Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar issued the order on a petition moved by a citizen, Sharif Nizami.
The petitioner’s counsel, AK Dogar, said the country would never make progress if Urdu was not made the official language.
He said the Punjab government wanted to replace Urdu school curriculum with English.
He said English-medium education was being forced on the province. He said Urdu-medium schools were being abolished in the Punjab under a notification issued on March 28, 2009.
The petitioner said all official work was done in English.
This, he said, was keeping the common man ignorant of facts.
He said a majority of people in the country could read and write Urdu.
He said under Article 251(1) Urdu was to become the official language within 15 years of the 1973 Constitution taking hold this never happened.
Dogar said countries like France and Germany had progressed by making their languages the official language.
He said Punjab government’s move was in sheer violation of the Constitution and requested the court to set it aside.
After hearing preliminary arguments, the court sought replies from both governments in 10 days.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2013.
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@Sohail: Bro, smbfh opinion makes sense. Why? First forget about purging the country from colonial era marks & signs. By the way don't tell me if English was the only national language Punjab and Pakistan would have no problem in education and local trade. Despite the fact that the ethnic origin of Punjabi share deep roots with Urdu. Sometime only difference left between the words of these two language is "zabbar" "zer" & "pesh" or "Madda". Now tell me if you see same similarity with "colonial" English. By the way what's so wrong with colonialism. We should be thank full to them for cheaper & abundent food, clean water, radio telephone, cars & planes, railways, bicycle, motorcycles, double rooti, cake, fertilizer, potato, corn, poultry & soybean oil, medicine like penicilline and aspirine and more in there hospitals etc etc. Just get-up, dust-off your clothes and get to work__ uniting people for rebuilding Pakistan than uniting them for hatred and stubbornness, laziness and violence, dividing and breaking bonds. Pewasta reh shajar say, Umee d bahar rakh. Don't think of more Sheikdoms, there is no chance in reality. Accept the fact called "Pakistan" and get on with your honest day for honest bread. Enjoy the freedom, start a small business & work for yourself.
@smbfh: Are you joking, or are you just another apologist for the hegemonic Pakistani mono-cultural narrative? Urdu is the language of a tiny minority of residents in Pakistan. The language in which people should be given instruction, and provided with official government documents should be their respective native languages. It's absurd that the language of Punjab is Urdu. And now some concerned 'citizen' (read: zealot) wants to impose this language on the entire nation? If any languages are to be declared official, it should be the indigenous languages of pakistan (i.e. Sindhi, Punjabi, Pushto, Balochi, etc.). When will you elitist-propagandists accept the multi-ethnic composition of this wretched nation? If English is foreign to pakistan's citizens, then so is Urdu! They are both colonial languages!
How come the public was kept in dark about all this. I mean the 2009 orders to abolish such a crucial teaching and educational tool of Urdu language for a majority of a population of a gravely under-developed nation is a very serious mater. Whole Pakistan take Urdu as an only convenient tool available for trade and commerce, education and communication, undrstanding and cohesion between local cultures and ethnicities. Modern countries are going back to encourage the use of more than one language for creativity and mental development in youths and for education of future leaders of public. Einstien once said: A man's intelligence depends on his vocabulary(i.e, in how many ways & words he can describe same thing). I like to know who is deciding all this in dark?