KARACHI: Tributes were paid to scholar and linguist Baba-i-Urdu Maulvi Abdul Haq on the occasion of his 55th death anniversary at a ceremony held at the Federal Urdu University on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion, the adviser to the prime minister on national history and literary heritage, Irfan Siddiqui, said that the services of Maulvi Abdul Haq for the cause of Urdu would always be remembered.

Maulvi Abdul Haq called Urdu the lingua franca and a unifying force of Pakistan, and demanded that Urdu be declared the national language of the country, he said.

Mr Siddiqui further stated that it was our responsibility to highlight the achievement as well as the contributions of our national heroes so that the younger generation could also be apprised of these. He said concerted efforts should be made for the promotion, development and progress of the Urdu language.

Mr Siddiqui said Maulvi Abdul Haq initiated the struggle for the promotion of Urdu before the inception of Pakistan and worked for this goal throughout his life. Programmes marking his death anniversary should be held in every city in Pakistan to apprise the younger generation of his valuable contributions.

Maulvi Abdul Haq was born on Nov 16, 1872 in Hapur town in Ghaziabad district in India. He founded the Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Urdu in 1903 in Aligarh.

Addressing the problems of the Anjuman Tarraqi-i-Urdu was also a matter of priority, said Mr Siddiqui. He announced enhancement of annual grant for the institution for publishing books from Rs1.8 million to Rs2.5m.

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation Administrator Laeeq Ahmed and vice chancellor of Federal Urdu University Sulaiman D. Muhammad also spoke.

Some of Maulvi Abdul Haq’s written material which travelled with him is available at the Urdu Dictionary Board library. His most prominent works include the English-Urdu dictionary, Maktoobat, Chand Ham Asar, Tauqeedat, Muqaddimat, Debacha Dastan Rani Ketki and Qawaid-e-Urdu.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2016

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