ISLAMABAD: The presidency received on Wednesday the first summary from the Prime Minister’s Office in Urdu which reflects the government has started implementing the Supreme Court’s order to introduce Urdu as the official language of the country.

“Today we received the first official document from the prime minister’s office in Urdu,” an official at the presidency told Dawn.

The summary was about the appointment of Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja as chief justice of the Supreme Court from Aug 17.

On July 10, the government had informed the court that it had issued an executive order for replacement of English with Urdu as the country’s official language in stages.

The decision had been taken, the court was told, to fulfil the government’s obligation under Article 251 of the constitution, which made it mandatory to make arrangements for the use of Urdu for official and other purposes within 15 years from 1973. The 15-year grace period for English ended 27 years ago in 1988.

The government has already asked heads of different departments to implement a recent decision of the federal cabinet to gradually introduce Urdu in their official documents.

A government circular of May 14 also asked the heads of departments to submit suggestions on how Urdu could replace English as the official language.

On the other hand, almost all departments are said to be in a fix on how to implement the decision because they are foreseeing complications in the use of Urdu as the official language.

The government has given three months to different departments to issue documents and forms, including utility bills, in Urdu.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2015

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