Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has ordered to make Urdu as an official language for all government communications including national and foreign speeches made by government officials. Moreover, websites for government institutions, utility bills, driving licences, passports and other documents will carry Urdu text as well.
The decision was made in a cabinet meeting held on May 14th, 2015 where it was agreed upon that Urdu will replace English as the official language as stated in Article 251 of the constitution. The federal government has already asked for ways that can be used to gradually replace English with Urdu as the official language.
The constitution which was approved in 1973 declared Urdu as the official language of Pakistan, but it never happened. Over the years, several demands had been made to implement the long forgotten decision. Moreover, many celebrities and officials faced criticism because of their broken English during several occasions on an international platform. It raised questions of why not be comfortable in one’s own language and be good at it, rather than ruining another language as well and suffering from identity loss.
It should be noted here that upon the approval of the constitution in 1973, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa kept Urdu as their official language and even provincial assembly members took their oath in Urdu. An interesting fact is that a majority of the population in both provinces spoke Pashto, Hindko and Seraiki. Sindh and Punjab assembly, on the other hand, were divided among their provincial languages and national interest.
The article 251 of the Pakistan constitution stated clearly about Urdu being the official language of Pakistan as mentioned below.
(1) The National language of Pakistan is Urdu, and arrangements shall be made for it being used for official and other purposes within fifteen years from the commencing day.
(2) Subject to clause (1), the English language may be used for official purposes until arrangements are made for its replacement by Urdu.
(3) Without prejudice to the status of the national language, a provincial assembly may by law prescribe measures for the teaching, promotion and use of a provincial language in addition to the national language.
Do you think the government of Pakistan has taken a wise decision? We certainly do. Let us know in the comment section below.