President, prime minister to deliver speeches only in Urdu, even on foreign trips

Govt to change all official documents, signboards into Urdu in the next three months

Hasnaat Malik July 10, 2015
A file photo of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Submitting a short-term plan for the promotion of Urdu language, the federal government told the Supreme Court on Friday that step-by-step over the next three months, the President, prime minister and all special designates, will start delivering their speeches in Urdu language regardless of whether these are being delivered within or outside the country.

Federal secretary information, while appearing before a three-member bench headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja to hear an application on declaring Urdu as the country’s official language, submitted a report on the steps taken by the government in this regard so far.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had also signed an administrative order regarding this on July 6, he added.

The report says that all government or semi-government organisations are working under the federation would translate their policies, by-laws and all kinds of forms into Urdu, which will appear alongside with English versions within the next three months. They will also develop their web portals in Urdu.

Further, the report notes that the government will affix names of all public places, including courts, police stations, hospitals, parks, educational institutions and banks in Urdu for the information of people within the prescribed time. All related signboards will also be fixed in Urdu.

Read: Mother tongue day: ‘Regional languages and Urdu should join hands’

The government will also take steps so that information and documents printed by public offices, including passports offices, income tax office, AGPR, Auditor General of Pakistan, Wapda, Sui Gas, Election Commission of Pakistan and driving licence issuing authorities, as well as utility bills would be in Urdu and English within three months.

The proceedings of all the official functions, receptions would also be conducted in Urdu within three months.

For these purposes, the Institution for Promotion of National Language would play a central role.

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Meanwhile, reports were submitted by the provinces as well for promotion of regional languages.

Justice Khawaja remarked Balochistan had taken steps for promotion of six local languages, including Punjabi in the province, but Punjab had done nothing for the promotion of Punjabi language.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said according to 1951 survey 97 per cent people in the country spoke Punjabi, but the Punjab government had totally ignored it, adding if the provincial government needed any help it could take support from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.