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

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

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.

Read: Language that doesn’t belong

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.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Jul 10, 2015 - 11:18PM

    There used to be ten percent of members in any international forum when our leaders start speaking. Now that will be reduced to zero.Recommend

  • Zafar
    Jul 10, 2015 - 11:27PM

    We hate Indian but love their language i.e urdu which is sister language of hindi.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jul 10, 2015 - 11:56PM

    What difference it would make? Foreigners don’t understand their English accent too.Recommend

  • just_someone
    Jul 11, 2015 - 12:40AM

    “Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said according to 1951 survey 97 per cent people in the country spoke Punjabi”
    – This cant be factually correct or that survey had some serious design flaws?!Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jul 11, 2015 - 12:47AM

    we are getting too emotional about this. For god-sake, there is no harm in English or for that matter any other language. Speak in which you are comfortable with.
    Do you expect obama or other word leaders to have a translator for you guys? Do something useful.

    When would we come out of this self love. no one speak urdu outside india & pakistan.Recommend

  • Shah
    Jul 11, 2015 - 1:40AM

    Ahh reminded me of the torturous speeches of PM Gillani… lol ‘who’s stopping them’Recommend

  • Point
    Jul 11, 2015 - 2:48AM

    To be honest its their lack of speaking. PM cannot speak a word unless its written on paper with a large font size.

    The reason which they are presenting is what Pakistanis wanted since ages to promote Urdu. Recommend

  • Mudathir Shah
    Jul 11, 2015 - 4:01AM

    A sorry day for native languages and cultures of Pakistan. Imposing a foreign language on all people who do not speak it is a crime. Those giving examles of China, Germany, Japan etc should have a reality check that it should be Punjabi instead of Urdu. If the people of Pakistan have to sacrifice their mother tongues, then they should adopt English instead of Urdu. Day dreaming of creating Owadh like days will push us back. Imposing a language of a minority which has disrespect for the majority and native cultures of Pakistan is only criminal and is a cultural genocide. Recommend

  • Aamir
    Jul 11, 2015 - 4:13AM

    It’s a real change!!! WOW!! The country where a matric pass can’t understand English, this step will help!Recommend

  • cautious
    Jul 11, 2015 - 4:25AM

    Just because Sharif can’t speak English worth a darn shouldn’t make it policy. English has become the de-facto common language of the World and Urdu has little value outside of Pakistan. Ever notice that all the rich fat cats in Pakistan send their kids to UK/USA for education – that should tell you something.Recommend

  • Paindu
    Jul 11, 2015 - 4:57AM

    Urdu has no ancestral roots in any part of current Pakistan.Such type of language should not have a bright future here. Jinnah did not bothered about local people and just declared one language as superior to others because he was a dictator in his every decision. Urdu is lingua franca but not a national language of Pakistan. Just like Hockey is considered the national sports while we never used to play this game, similarly Urdu is not the national language of Pakistan. Kindly do not force this language on the greater population. Let the diversity have some space here.Recommend

  • hamza
    Jul 11, 2015 - 5:22AM

    Is he mad or team tribune has done such blunder?Recommend

  • Anon
    Jul 11, 2015 - 5:26AM

    At last a good decision by the government. Why should we the sons of Muslim Indo-Persain civilization speak the language of Anglo Saxons. After all we made Pakistan to carry our identity, culture and civilization from Hindu domination who refused to accept 1000 year of culture which has made present day India from classical music, Taj Mahal to Urdu (Lingua Franca of subcontinent till Hinds objected. Anyone know about the urdu-hindi controversy). Just to clarify the local cultures of Pakistan should be promoted and preserved Recommend

  • Anon
    Jul 11, 2015 - 5:28AM

    Our philosophy, history, poetry, music, political science, all the great thinkers of Indian subcontinent of the 20th century wrote in Urdu to give us identity why should we not own this treasureRecommend

  • Zain Hasan
    Jul 11, 2015 - 6:20AM

    Finally they realized that English isn’t their language. This will definitely hurt our English-pasand awam.
    LATE BUT A GOOD STEPRecommend

  • Khubaib
    Jul 11, 2015 - 6:56AM

    Strange! I thought its a good news and all patriots will be happy on this, but instead people are criticizing this, the problem with us is that we so much influenced by western nations and we could not come out effects of slavery still, don’t you realize that there are many advantages of using Urdu and official language, firstly common people can understand it easily, second it gives an impression of patriotism and that you are not foreign influenced nation. Moreover, for those who think that we can not progress in our Urdu language plz open your eyes and look at the facts that many nations including china has progressed in its own language. I was shocked a few days ago when I came to know that a state in india made urdu its official language, so why can’t we do this afterall urdu is our national language. I am very happy with the decision. Its was decided decades ago in our constitution that Urdu will be out official language and will gradually replace englishRecommend

  • NativeLanguagesOfPakistan
    Jul 11, 2015 - 7:13AM

    Urdu is first language of only 7% of population in Pakistan. It is also our communication language but why our indigenous languages being ignored? Why our Federal Govt shows so much hate and loathe against the real, historic and awami languages of Pakistan – Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Pushto, and Siraiki. Time to stand up and convey super strong message to federal govt that enough is enough, now own and promote native languages of Pakistan else we will protest. Recommend

  • Syed Faraz Liaquat
    Jul 11, 2015 - 11:20AM

    Good step by Government.Recommend

  • Farid Hanfi
    Jul 11, 2015 - 11:28AM

    This is an excellent decision. Urdu is the lingua franca of Pakistan which is spoken and understood in all parts of Pakistan same as English in European countries, and Arabic in Arab countries. Those who are opposing are either against of Pakistani unity or afraid of their weakness in Urdu. Recommend

  • Jul 11, 2015 - 5:27PM

    @just_someone: please inculcate a habit of accepting truths even those that are not to your liking. Do not keep denying and raising conspiracy theories pleaseRecommend

  • Jul 11, 2015 - 5:32PM

    @Farid Hanfi: this is as big a lie as that Hindi is the lingua franca of India. Hope who say so understand the meaning of what they say.
    @just_someone: please inculcate a habit of accepting truths even those that are not to your liking. Do not keep denying and raising conspiracy theories pleaseRecommend

  • Jul 11, 2015 - 5:47PM

    why are we, of this subcontinent of India and Pakistan are so badly hung up with such stupid ideas about language and dress. Do we think that people of China or Japan or entire south east Asia are less proud of their language or culture. Their culture is as old as ours. But they and their leaders roam the world wearing three piece suits and speaking English. To day the world has become a global village and the western ways are accepted as international norms then why do we want to look odd every time and every where. With that logic we should insist to be served food in big ‘THALS & KATORIES’ and we should eat with our hands, belching loudly in between to register our satisfaction with food. How about asking for ‘dastarkhans to be laid. Is this ‘ false pride or big complex? Recommend

  • Realist
    Jul 12, 2015 - 12:22AM

    Make punjabi national language as it represents majorityRecommend

  • Adnan Khan
    Jul 12, 2015 - 2:38AM

    Distraction from real issues. Countries are respected for what they are. Not for the dramas they enact.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Jul 13, 2015 - 3:42AM

    Must now insist that PIA aircrew only communicate with air traffic control in Urdu worldwide!Recommend

  • hannan
    Aug 22, 2015 - 10:57AM

    verry niceRecommend

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