Pakistan to replace English with Urdu as official language

Published: July 29, 2015
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Urdu to be a second medium of language while all official business will be bilingual.

Urdu to be a second medium of language while all official business will be bilingual.

Pakistan has finally confirmed a long-running rumour of dropping English as its official language and switching to its mother tongue, Urdu.

In an exclusive interview with TIME, Pakistan’s Minister of Planning, National Reforms and Development Ahsan Iqbal established that the change would come about as a result of a court directive.

However, an exact time frame was not provided.

Passed in 1973, the Constitution of Pakistan under Article 251 specifies that the government under all circumstances, must make Urdu the national language within 15 years; however, the law is yet to be implemented.

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

However, Iqbal clarified that switching from English to Urdu does not mean that the prior would be abandoned entirely and would still be taught in schools along with Urdu.

“This means that Urdu would be a second medium of language and all official business will be bilingual,” he added.

While some Pakistanis fear that the change would be a drawback for their children, Iqbal argued that the move will allow Pakistan to become more democratic as it will “help provide greater participation to people who don’t know English; hence, making the government more inclusive.”

Though several languages are spoken in Pakistan, English takes the lead among the elite and government ministries.

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

Further, according to the CIA Factbook, nearly half of Pakistanis speak Punjabi, while only 8% speak Urdu. Several other languages are spoken by a fraction of the population.

 

Meanwhile, India too has a similar clause in its constitution, however it continues to use English as well as Hindi as its official languages.

 

This article originally appeared on TIME

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Reader Comments (78)

  • Nouman
    Jul 29, 2015 - 2:25PM

    I think the CIA factbook stats are not updated. Most people living in urban areas speak Urdu at home. Even in rural areas of Punjab, educated class is switching from Punjabi to Urdu, as a language to communicate at home and even in Bazaars and Markets.Recommend

  • Zaffer Ali
    Jul 29, 2015 - 2:29PM

    We are Arabs , Arabic should be our official language.Recommend

  • citizen26
    Jul 29, 2015 - 2:37PM

    Okay this means we take 5 steps forward and 20 steps backwards.Recommend

  • ahsan
    Jul 29, 2015 - 2:45PM

    The CIA factbook is wrong, Most Pakhtoons know urdu, most Punjabi and sindhi people also know urdu, same is case for baloch, kashmiri and people of the northern areas, in punjab urdu is spoken instead of punjabi most of time on several occasions, so off all the spoken languages, urdu is probably spoken 30%-40% times Recommend

  • Aman
    Jul 29, 2015 - 2:48PM

    Sad! Again riches will study in English and poor in Urdu. Recommend

  • Nouman
    Jul 29, 2015 - 2:53PM

    @citizen26:

    I think its more like, we took 20 steps backward in the past and this decision is 5 steps forward.

    All developed economies in the world use their own language every where. USA, UK, Germany, France, China, Russia are just few examples. We can unite everybody (poor/rich) on Urdu, but we cannot do it in case of English. The economic growth is directly linked the the language of communication. You can use google and read a few research papers on the same topic.Recommend

  • Hatim
    Jul 29, 2015 - 2:54PM

    This is a good step. Many countries have more than one official or semi-official languages and if this means more people can be involved in governance, it will benefit the common people.Recommend

  • Usman Ajmal
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:10PM

    @Aman: To the contrary, I think its a great step.Recommend

  • Jutt
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:11PM

    @Nouman In Punjab especially in Lahore people speak a mixture of Urdu and Punjabi in cities. It can be stated as “Urjabi”. Many local words are developed overtime that are borrowed from Punjabi language. But interestingly since Urdu speaking Authors hate to include any Word from local languages so none of these words are being included in Urdu dictionary. The Karachi based authors should realize that all languages even English add words on an yearly basis. It is a constant evolution. But stubbornness of One community that try to dominate Pakistan is refusing to give any credit to local languages while talking about Urdu.Recommend

  • WAQAS AHMAD
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:19PM

    It is in favor of those dumb heads who are unable to understand English and who will be sitting on the Sarkari Kursi for the next decades Recommend

  • Ahsan Zafar
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:24PM

    @Nouman:

    Agreed! just the population of Karachi is around 11-12 percent of the total population OF THE COUNTRY!

    take into consideration all the other parts of pakistan where urdu is commonplace and the numbers should be a lot higher than 8%.Recommend

  • Spyrogyra
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:24PM

    “This means that Urdu would be a second medium of language and all official business will be bilingual”

    Do they realize how complicated this will make all systems (e.g., IT)? What about the overhead and loopholes it will create to keep in sync the Urdu and English versions? Will school lessons be taught in one language first and then repeated in the other?

    Let’s just accept that English is our official language and teach it to our people so they also have a better change of competing abroad. Recommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:29PM

    @Zaffer Ali:
    We are not Arabs my Friend. We are children of the soil of the Sub Continent. We are indigenous of this land and should be proud of our heritage. Recommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:31PM

    @citizen26:
    Only to Burgers i guess who cant speak a word of Urdu, Its a better step to implement Urdu. Urdu is our heritage,our culture, our Pride and I for one would hate to waste this.Recommend

  • Rollin n Trollin
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:34PM

    How stupid can you get ?? Instead of raising our standards to world class levels instead we plummet them to pleb levels ! Pakistan isn’t exactly a fount of knowledge for scientific and technological development where scholars and academicians from far and wide will steep themselves in sublime erudition and feverishly try to acquire command of the Urdu language ??! Recommend

  • saif
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:39PM

    Its a good move that all official work will be bilingual now. Secondly, urdu is the most widely understood language in pakistan. Not english or punjabi or pashto. Recommend

  • Factbook
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:41PM

    The CIA Factbook isn’t wrong. It is based on the population’s mother tongue. Only 8% of Pakistanis are ethnic urdu speakers, which seems about right. The majority of Pakistanis are ethnic Punjabis making their mother tongue Punjabi. No one is refuting Urdu’s place as the most spoken language in Pakistan. Recommend

  • anahita
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:44PM

    Most of the mnas and mpas must be so delighted…who have issues speaking English.Recommend

  • PERVAIZ
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:50PM

    ” stupid “Recommend

  • Yousuf
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:59PM

    @citizen26:
    how? lots of countries don’t have English as an official language and they’re doing fine. China, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Italy. They all speak English as a second language but have retained a separate national languageRecommend

  • Nouman
    Jul 29, 2015 - 4:06PM

    @ Jutt:

    I agree to your point. This means that we should make a research center of Urdu to include beautiful and powerful words and remove the harsh words. And then, slowly and gradually introducing them to general public through speeches and promotion through television and other media.

    At present form, there are plenty of punjabi words included in urdu which pollutes both languages. People of MQM speaks something closer to pure urdu, and the Sikhs of India speaks pure punjabi and both the languages appears so beautiful when spoken in pure form, Making an oxford level research center for urdu language and connecting it to top levels of Government and people with greater influence might help.Recommend

  • MUNIR hyder shah
    Jul 29, 2015 - 4:15PM

    Before 47 very few people spoke Urdu in the present Pakistan. Urdu came to this region with those who lost a lot while migrating for which we respect it. But Pakistan was not made ONLY by those who spoke urdu but Sindhi, Punjabi, Balochi, Pashtu and many other. so its time to recognize other people also by making every language equal just like In India every local language is national languageRecommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 29, 2015 - 4:17PM

    @Rollin n Trollin:
    Its also world class Stuff to wear a bikini or to fornicate should we aim for that too. Stupid are people like you who feel shame in their heritage. Civilizations were wiped out because the language died out. URDU is our Language, culture heritage and so we must respect this. This is a good step to ensure Urdu becomes the language of the Scholarly.Recommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 29, 2015 - 4:20PM

    @anahita:
    MOst Pakistani would be happy that finally our culture is being promoted. Urdu is “THE” medium of communication in Pakistan and i think its a breather for many. Even a person like me who reads the entire syllabus in English medium have a hard time in fluent communication in English. Urdu comes so naturally to me.Recommend

  • Jibran
    Jul 29, 2015 - 4:21PM

    Stupid decision. Zia ul Haq introduced it in schools, Zia’s spiritual children are introducing it in the offices. Recommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 29, 2015 - 4:37PM

    @Nouman:
    Yes we should and we have one such university but it must have proper backing if we are to succeed. English is good in international communication but its not worth losing communication and roots with our land. Also it would save the PM trouble to read of a Chit.Recommend

  • Urooj Saifi
    Jul 29, 2015 - 5:40PM

    At the same time the government should take steps to teach English and the provincial language in all schools. The level of language teachers should be improved as well so our next generation comes out to be fluent in three languages at least. At present most Pakistanis cannot call themselves masters in any language. Recommend

  • Jutt
    Jul 29, 2015 - 5:42PM

    @Nouman You should be ashamed of your last comment. The intolerance of So called Urdu speakers must have some limits. Who made you the owner of Urdu`?. You negated my comment and infact called the local languages as dirty. Who are you to state some language as Harsh and removal of any Word from Urdu that infact is derived from Punjabi ?. I can tolerate anything but it someone will state my language as Harsh and will call to Make Urdu more pure by removing each and every word of local languages then Infact the value of Pakistan even do not exist for me.
    Pakistan must give respect to every nation here. If some language is evolving then let it evolve. Also think twice before igniting the sentiments of someone by stating something bad about their mother tongue. Respect all local languages or else everyone will abandon so called Pure Urdu movement. My mother tongue is Punjabi. If this country could not respect my language then i could not reciprocate my love as well.Recommend

  • Ih
    Jul 29, 2015 - 5:57PM

    An awful decision. Urdu is language of about 10 million people. Let regional languages flourish. Let English be the official language. N.s once again shows limitation of his thought process. Recommend

  • ahmed41
    Jul 29, 2015 - 6:55PM

    The real challenge is not just URDU as an Official Language. The major job to be undertaken is to have a high level bilingual or trilingual educational system. This means textbooks in all subjects in URDU, ENGLISH and a regional language. It presupposes efficient teachers who are multilingual.

    My mother had an iron-rule at home : if we ,her children , started a sentence in ( say ) Urdu, then she would insist that the full sentence should be in Urdu words. Not a mixture of English + Urdu.

    Usage of a mixture of English words in Urdu is plain mental and linguistic laziness. Recommend

  • Nk
    Jul 29, 2015 - 7:38PM

    Horrible move. I wish our politicians would use their brain. We live in the 21st century of globalisation. You can’t live in an Urdu medium bubble any more. So you want to open up government services etc to people who don’t speak English? How educated do you think those people are? In that case do they even deserve to be in the government. I hate to equate English to being educated but it’s a fact. If you went past 8th grade even in a decent public school then you know English. By promoting this Urdu medium culture it’s just attracting more people with the same close minded uneducated attitudes who will continue propelling Pakistan into a pit of despair by dealing with everything in an Urdu medium way. Recommend

  • Nouman
    Jul 29, 2015 - 8:17PM

    @ Jutt:

    Bhai mere, why are you taking me in the wrong context? I am not me, neither you are you. We both are Pakistani. We both belong to Pakistan and urdu is our national language. thats it. From my comment above, i meant to remove harsh words like this: For example:

    “tu dafa hoja” is a wrong sentence. “aap chale jain” is the right sentence. So, I am just asking you to remove (read discourage) the use of “dafa”.

    Take it easy.Recommend

  • acha ok
    Jul 29, 2015 - 8:49PM

    Those who think in Urdu are supporting this decision.

    Those who think in English are saying it’s a “stupid” decision.

    I think in a mixture of English and Urdu and maybe that is Pakistan’s true heritage.

    I also know English is the older language in this region because Urdu was adopted after Partition – Urdu is an Indian language originating in UP. So those arguing it is Pakistan’s “heritage” have it wrong – our heritage was English first – we inherited it from 300 years of the British Raj.

    At the same time this decision is an example of rejecting the history of “colonial” British rule. It will be pleasing to those who harbor feelings of hostility towards foreign rule and the ruling elite the Raj placed in India and Pakistan to govern the country for decades.Recommend

  • KHAWAR
    Jul 29, 2015 - 8:50PM

    To start with have your national anthem in Urdu first?????Recommend

  • Haseeb Iqbal
    Jul 29, 2015 - 8:57PM

    Gr8 initiative!Recommend

  • C M Naim
    Jul 29, 2015 - 9:03PM

    This news amply illustrates the problem.
    1. The image added by the newspaper above contains a glaring error that has not been corrected even after several requests. It mis-spells the word “nasab”. So much for Urdu.
    2. The English of the news itself has ample silly mistakes. Pakistan has a “mother tongue.” Urdu “will be the second medium of language.” And a few more. So much for English.

    Nobody takes any language seriously enough. Recommend

  • pakistani
    Jul 29, 2015 - 9:42PM

    @Zaffer Ali:
    We are not arabs we are asiansRecommend

  • ih
    Jul 29, 2015 - 10:15PM

    Jinnah and Liaqat made a blunder by declaring Urdu as national language. Look at history of East Pakistanwhen you impose language . Urdu may be good for poetry but as scientific and legal language it is extremely limited.. Recommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 29, 2015 - 11:05PM

    @Ih:
    Sorry That NS did not take sympathies of burgers in account. An excellent decisions and clear fulfilment of the Great Quaids Dream Let english be a 3rd Language. First Urdu then the provincial Language depicting our cultures and the english. Great Step.Recommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 29, 2015 - 11:08PM

    @Nk:
    We only live in the 21st century , But our cultures are something we must honour and respect. Nations die because their language died. This is the right decision because if we go by your meaning then its also normal to wear a bikini, Incest is legal in some parts. Kindly practice that in your “globalization” process then.Recommend

  • bechari-awam
    Jul 29, 2015 - 11:11PM

    All those who think it is a bad decision should visit Canada or US some time. They may be thinking that Canada or US are English speaking countries, but they will be utterly disappointed to see French and Spanish used in every official document along with English. In California and especially in Bay area where I live, you will even find Mandarin and Vietnamese too in official documents because they want to include all the people. I agree, you cannot beat English being an international language and it is absolutely essential for everyone to learn English in schools so that we can communicate and compete globally but having Urdu or even all regional languages in official documents will include everyone and give them a sense of ownership in State matters.

    @Nouman, I love your people skills ;)Recommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 29, 2015 - 11:11PM

    @acha ok:
    Bhai jaan URDU has a greater history in Subcontinent than English. It is far greater heritage than english. Please consult some books. It was impossible for people to just start speaking ecglish Today many PhDs have tough time in fluent english but URDU us the medium. Thats what ive learnt examined and got proved on at School. Even in english medium schools and people hailing from all provnces it is easier communicating in Urdu than english for some reason. Deep rooted culture and Nationalism perhaps.Recommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 29, 2015 - 11:14PM

    @ih:
    Bengal issues were something else. Language was just a small part because they said Bengali shld be the first official not Urdu whereas govt wanted both.
    Its sickening from you if you think that Quaid e Azam and Allama Iqbal made a mistake. They did the most righteous of all things. Its our fault that we could not hold up to the legacy and i believe it was high time someone Put his foot down and i am glad it happened.Recommend

  • Chaigram
    Jul 29, 2015 - 11:26PM

    By what definition are we Arabs? Please explain……..we are the Nation of the sub-continent of India /Pakistan / B’Desh/ Sri Lanka. We follow different religion speak different language but we all belong to this soil…..

    @Zaffer Ali: Recommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 29, 2015 - 11:27PM

    @ih:
    Iran made persian its natinal language and language of studies in all Professions. Its research is persian and each year they produce a Nobel Prize candidate if not winner. Their people like to stay and work in Iran and since they cant go anywhere, But since we were brought up speaking english we dont work in pakistan and people can easily work in europe and america. Thats the differenceRecommend

  • BlackHat
    Jul 30, 2015 - 12:31AM

    In a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual nation, making one language official puts other linguistic groups at a disadvantage just for the fact that the official language is not their native tongue, and they can not have natural fluency in the official language. This has a direct impact on job opportunities for these disadvantaged groups. Also it is against equal rights in a democracy.

    Before Urdu was made the administrative language at the Mughal court, Persian was the official language. After that, Persian just died out in the subcontinent, because there was no monetary benefit of learning that language.

    Today, whether one likes it or not, English brings economic benefits to people who know it. English rules the world even if the English don’t. Language policy of a country should promote welfare of the common man, not some grandiose social engineering agenda. Those interested in the outcome of misguided language policies should read about the recent past of Sri Lanka and of course, Bangladesh!!!!Recommend

  • ahmed41
    Jul 30, 2015 - 7:24AM

    No language can be imposed on a people…………that is what the history of all nations indicates. The common man is happy to adopt the language of the country’s administration. To him that adaptability makes economic and common sense. Recommend

  • observer
    Jul 30, 2015 - 7:57AM

    @pakistani:

    “We are not arabs we are asians”

    Pakistanis are descendants of Mohammed bin Qusim and therefore are Arabs. Doesn’t Pakistan studies teach you that Pakistanis are Arabs? Arabic should be the only national language of Pakistan. Urdu is an Indian language. Pakistanis are not Indians.Recommend

  • Faree
    Jul 30, 2015 - 9:08AM

    @Zaffer Ali:
    We are Pakistanis! Not arabs.Recommend

  • S
    Jul 30, 2015 - 9:51AM

    @observer:
    You certainly have not studied Pakistan studies otherwise you would have known that Pak studies teach to respect Muslim warriors. They never claimed Pakistanis to be descendants of Arabs or Muhammad Bin Qasim. Pakistanis are certainly no Indians. They are born Pakistanis after all. :) Besides, Indian origin of Urdu doesn’t bother us. It is still our national language and it’s not like Indians actually care for Urdu. On the contrary, it is vastly ignored. So go away Indian.

    @Zaffer Ali
    What is the point of this comment until and unless you are a trolling Indian.

    On topic, I don’t see how it matter to us as Pakistanis are taught both Urdu and English. Infact I think it will help those people who are more comfortable in expressing in Urdu than English. Not a bad initiative at all.Recommend

  • pakistani
    Jul 30, 2015 - 10:03AM

    @Zaffer Ali: now we are talking, arab country will say joke of the century Recommend

  • Bewildered
    Jul 30, 2015 - 10:44AM

    @Jutt:
    @Nouman:

    Perhaps you both guys don’t realized that Urdu/Hindi (not Sanskrit) is derived from Punjabi language and Punjabi language contributes more than 80% of the words to Urdu, with slightly different dialect of course, while the rest of the worlds in Urdu are taken from Persian, Arabic, Turkic, and English languages. This is the biggest reason, along with being openhearted, that most Punjabi people don’t have any difficulty or reservations speaking Urdu, and unlike our Bengali brethren don’t feel threatened from it.Recommend

  • Owais Ahmed
    Jul 30, 2015 - 11:28AM

    Its really a rubbish action by a rubbish government. Instead of making some concrete efforts for education, economy and law & order they are making these decisions to make people fool. Further the government should go the other way round by replacing Urdu from English so its more understandable for everyone inside and outside Pakistan as so many people travel abroadRecommend

  • Rafay
    Jul 30, 2015 - 1:17PM

    crapRecommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 30, 2015 - 2:31PM

    @S:
    Look we are of indian Descent only we have different cultures from HIndus. That what makes us different.Recommend

  • Milind
    Jul 30, 2015 - 3:09PM

    . What’s the point in replacing a foreign language (English) with another foreign language (Urdu). Would have been proper had they replaced English with Pakistan’s original language Arabic..Recommend

  • Arya
    Jul 30, 2015 - 4:50PM

    @Milind:
    @observer:
    Funny that most people talking about Arabic are Indians. FYI Sanskrit and its offspring Hindi are also foreign languages brought to the subcontinent by Aryan invaders.Recommend

  • reader
    Jul 30, 2015 - 4:56PM

    @ih
    Yes it is a limited language scientifically.
    Legally, not so much. Many advanced legal concepts can be expressed in Urdu, though not as advanced as in English. This is mainly because Urdu was the court language of the Mughal Empire, which was the largest empire in the world (in terms of GDP) at its time.
    But the point is, that the language, if it is to be used officially, both in the legal as well as scientific / engineering sphere, then the language has to be developed further, and some vocabulary from English has to be officially induced into Urdu as well.
    That is how the Chinese and Japanese do all their official, legal, scientific, engineering, business, and all other work in their own languages. They had to develop vocabulary for the modern concepts which were not expressible by the language before, and also to infuse foreign vocabulary where needed.
    If this is done in Pakistan, then Pakistan will become a much more advanced country than India, or Bangladesh / Sri Lanka. Reason would be, then the English-speaking / non-English-speaking divide, which is basically representative of rich / poor divide, will finish, and those young minds who were not able to afford a fluent English education but still had good Urdu education, will now have access to much greater opportunity. The poor will be able to mobilize upwards much more rapidly.
    That is why we India / Pakistan, and also African countries, etc., have not been able to develop, while China / Japan / Korea have developed. We continue to use the foreigners language, which stays limited to the well-resourced amongst us, due to expense of teachers who can teach the foreign language fluently. Whereas they, Chinese Japanese, have adapted their language to the modern environment, allowing every body access to success. Recommend

  • Breaking Bad
    Jul 30, 2015 - 5:34PM

    for a change think positive. non stop sarcasm is also not healthy @Zaffer Ali:Recommend

  • Breaking Bad
    Jul 30, 2015 - 5:45PM

    @KHAWAR:
    Khawar Bhai every single word of qaumi tarana can be found in Urdu lughat and if a person grew up in Pakistan then they have good understanding of it.Recommend

  • sridhar
    Jul 30, 2015 - 8:28PM

    Well, Urdu is an Indian language.
    Look at rupee note of any denomination from India and you see the amount written in 15 different languages including Urdu.
    When all official transactions are made in Urdu, you have a problem communicating outside Pakistan as well as within Pakistan where most may not know how to read and write in Urdu.
    Also, in this era of computers and internet, you can’t do away with English really. Very regressive step in my view.Recommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 30, 2015 - 8:49PM

    To put it simply. URDU is our Language not ENGLISH.
    We are of Subcontinent not ARABS.Recommend

  • observer
    Jul 31, 2015 - 12:05AM

    @S:

    “You certainly have not studied Pakistan studies otherwise you would have known that Pak studies teach to respect Muslim warriors. “

    To be more correct, you mean “Pak studies tach us to respect Muslim invaders”.

    If you are not Arabs, but respect and identify with the Arabs who invaded, converted and subjugated your ancestors! That is a sign of a sense of lack of identity and self-respect or in the more benign sense the working of the Stockholm syndrome.Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Jul 31, 2015 - 1:34AM

    @Sridhar,

    Urdu is an “Indian language” because it is written on your bank note?
    Sure. English is an “Indian language” too because it is written on your bank note!Recommend

  • someone
    Jul 31, 2015 - 9:04AM

    @Zeeshan:
    Urdu is Indian language because it was developed in ganges plane of India. No territory of current Pakistan had Urdu as it’s native language. Urdu was born India. You guys have just adopted it as your languages because the ruling elite who formed Pakistan in 1947, was mostly from parts of India who spoke Urdu. Recommend

  • S
    Jul 31, 2015 - 10:06AM

    @Ahmad Imran:
    Oh I agree. Pakistanis have Indian roots but we are indeed not Indians. That generation is long gone who were once Indians and became Pakistanis after formation of Pakistan. Today, Pakistanis are just Pakistanis. Nothing more and nothing less.Recommend

  • Hamayun
    Jul 31, 2015 - 5:54PM

    @observer:
    Shows your lack of understanding of history. Out of hundreds of invaders, only a single one (MBQ) was Arab. The others were Pashtun (Sher Shah), Perso-Turk (Mahmud of Ghaznavi), etc most of whom spoke and encouraged Persian up until British rule. Since Urdu is derived from Persian, it is only natural for it to be the national language of Pakistan.Recommend

  • observer
    Aug 1, 2015 - 7:22AM

    @Hamayun:

    Yes you are correct about the other invaders. When people say Pakistanis are Arabs, they just lump all the other invaders such as Persians, Turkics, Afghans etc. in the term. It is because Pakistanis particularly revere Mohammed bin Quasim as the founder of Pakistan.

    As for Urdu being the natural national language of Pakistan because it has Persian origin, that doesn’t make sense when you have Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashto, Balochi etc. native languages. Urdu is an import from India.Recommend

  • jahanzeb ali
    Aug 12, 2015 - 1:25PM

    it important to development of nation to use there own
    language Recommend

  • Raja Islam
    Sep 5, 2015 - 9:53PM

    @Zaffer Ali:
    Correction. We are not Arabs and most of us are of Hindu descent.Recommend

  • Raja Islam
    Sep 5, 2015 - 10:09PM

    @Ahmad Imran:
    Urdu is not our heritage, culture or pride. It is a language that was spoken in some parts of India and came to Pakistan through refugees from India. At the time of partition, none of the indigenous people spoke Urdu and in fact the educated elite spoke English. Even today Urdu is the language of the lower middle classes in some cities of Pakistan.
    It makes no sense to go backwards to make the lower middle class Mohajirs more competitive at the expense of the rest of the country.Recommend

  • Raja Islam
    Sep 5, 2015 - 10:11PM

    @Ahmad Imran: it is not our culture. It may the culture of Lucknow, Delhi and Bihar.Recommend

  • Raja Islam
    Sep 5, 2015 - 10:18PM

    @Norman. The issue here is the self righteous attitude of the Urdu speakers and their putting down of the indigenous languages versus Urdu that for all practical purposes is a foreign language for us. My view is why not make Punjabi the official language as it the language of the majority of Pakistanis? If you do not like this idea, then English is not only a neutral medium but is also a global language.Recommend

  • Raja Islam
    Sep 5, 2015 - 10:22PM

    @Ahmad Imran: Iqbal and Jinnah were not major proponents of Urdu. One was a Punjabi speaker and the other a Sindhi speaker and both were fluent in English. It was Liaquat Ali who pushed to make Urdu the national language for obvious reasons. Recommend

  • Shah
    Sep 9, 2015 - 3:55AM

    Let me make it very clear to you that the state language of Pakistan is going to be Urdu and no other language. Anyone who tries to mislead you is really the enemy of Pakistan. Without one state language, no nation can remain tied up solidly together and function. Look at the history of other countries. Therefore, so far as the state language is concerned, Pakistan’s shall be Urdu. Quaid E AzamRecommend

  • Farukh Qureshi
    Sep 15, 2015 - 4:48PM

    Urdu is the only language that almost everyone can understand and speak. In spite of the fact that punjabi is the mostly spoken language, everyone uses urdu as a medium of communication. Mostly we use urdu when we meet someone who cannot speak or understand our language. In Azad Kashmir all official and judicial proceedings are held in urdu medium yet we are very much eager to learn and teach english.Recommend

  • Naseem Khan
    Oct 28, 2015 - 11:13AM

    @MUNIR hyder shah:
    Agreed. India didn’t bother creating a separate National language and here we did make Urdu as a National Language. They believe Unity is in Diversity and that Diversity should remain for Unity. Over there South Indians, mostly dont speak Hindi.. But still they are the same Indian by hear.. And what is Urdu? Urdu is the language of the 1947 migrants from North India.. Like Lucknow.. It would have been better that Punjabi, Baluchi, Pashtun, Sindhi would have been Official languages at the centre, and not just provincial level, as well.Recommend

  • ahmed41
    Nov 6, 2015 - 7:00PM

    @pakistani:
    NOT Arabs but genetically SOUTH ASIANSRecommend

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