QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has said that promotion of languages and literature is necessary for survival and development of any nation.
“Literature promotes harmony, peace and love and eliminates hatred,” the CM said at the concluding session of the three-day international conference on “Pashto Language and Globalisation: Challenges and Possibilities”.
Over 300 delegates from different parts of the country, Afghanistan, Canada and Germany took part in the deliberations of the conference. A large number of Pashto writers, poets, academics, intellectuals, literary persons and leaders and activists of political parties attended the conference.
The chief minister asked the youth to read, write and work for promotion of their mother languages. “Death of a language means death of a nation. And nobody wants it. No people want to become Red Indians in the 21st century,” he said.
“We should not live in the world of hate,” he said and urged writers to create literature which brought people close to each other.
He said the Balochistan government was taking steps for the welfare of Baloch and Pakhtun artists who had been ignored in the past, adding that annual funds for the Balochi, Brahvi and Pashto academies had been increased to promote the languages of the province.
He advised elected representatives to utilise part of funds allocated to them on the promotion of local languages, literature and education. Unfortunately they remain focused on road and sewerage projects, he deplored.
“If local languages do not thrive, it will be a failure of the government,” he said.
The chief minister announced a Rs2 million grant for the Pashto Academy and praised it for organising the conference.
On Sunday, the participants of the conference emphasised that Pashto language would have to develop in accordance with the requirements of modern times to meet contemporary challenges.
Those who read their papers urged Pashto writers, poets, academics, intellectuals and people of the Pakhtun nation to play an effective role for promotion of the language at the national and international levels.
Prominent writer and poet from Afghanistan Zarghoona Rashteen Zawar presided over the day’s first session and Afrasyab Khattak the second.
All the participants agreed that Pashto should be recognised as an official language. They said all languages should be given the status of national language.
Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party’s Chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai said the Pakhtuns had never supported sectarianism and terrorism and had always struggled for peace and development of the motherland, though allegations in this regard were levelled against them.
Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai had opened the conference on Saturday.
Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2015