ISLAMABAD: The federal government informed the Supreme Court on Friday that an executive order had been issued to make it mandatory for the president, prime minister, federal ministers and other official representatives to deliver their speeches in Urdu while within the country or abroad.

The secretary, information and broadcasting, during the hearing of a case pertaining to promotion and implementation of Urdu language informed an SC bench headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja that the prime minister had signed the executive order on July 6.

He also submitted a ‘short-term’ strategy report before the court.

According to short-term measures, federal government departments have been asked to translate their policies and rules in Urdu in three months. The forms relating to all the government and semi-government institutions will be in Urdu and at key public places like courts, police stations, hospitals, parks, educational institutions and banks the information signs will be in Urdu besides the English language.

Likewise, contents of utility bills, passports, driving licences and various documents of the Auditor General’s office, Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue and Election Commission of Pakistan would also be in the national language.

According to the report, the authorities concerned have been asked to implement the strategy gradually in three months.

The court provided the copy of the report to the petitioner and adjourned the hearing till July 22.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2015

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