HYDERABAD: Noted linguists and intellectuals of the country have called for declaring all languages spoken in Pakistan ‘national languages’ and said that no country has ever fallen apart for granting provincial autonomy or national status to all mother tongues.

They were speaking at ‘National conference on importance and status of mother tongues’ organised by the Sindhi Language Authority (SLA) to mark the World Language Day at Sindh Museum on Sunday.

They said that acceptance of regional tongues as national languages would strengthen Pakistan and stressed the need for making it binding on private sector companies to publish advertisements in Sindhi and making laws to ensure use of Sindhi in government departments.

Prominent scholar Dr Syed Jaffar Ali said that no country of the world had ever witnessed dismemberment for ensuring provincial autonomy or declaring mother tongues spoken in its land as national languages.

He said that Urdu language was a language of communication besides being a mother tongue and its importance would not diminish if regional languages were accepted as national languages.

Shoukat Hussain Shoro said that every mother was respectable irrespective of her language and likewise her language was equally respectable. Regretfully, mother tongues had been grossly ignored in Pakistan, he said.

Dr Abaseen Yusufzai, a poet from KPK, said that literacy rate remained below 50pc in provinces except Sindh as education was not imparted there in their mother tongues.

Dr Aneela Rehman from Punjab said that nobody hated Urdu but they only demanded other languages be also declared as national languages.

Balochistan’s Raheem Bux Mahar said that Baloch researchers believed Balochi was as old as Aryans but at present it was closer to Urdu than Persian.

Nazeer Shakir Brohi, an expert of Brahvi, said that his language was Pakistan’s oldest language but it was not given that much importance, which was a great injustice with this language.

SLA chairman Dr Mohammad Ali Manjhi said that there was great need to establish Indus script museum to conduct research on Indus script from Moenjodaro period to date.

Sindh Minister for Culture Syed Sardar Shah said in a written message read out at the conference that language was an asset of every individual.

The conference adopted several resolutions, demanding Sindh government approve grant for ensuring PhD on Indus script, SLA should be awarded a project to publish and preserve different scripts and legislation be done to cancel registration of private schools which did not teach Sindhi. The resolutions called for making laws for use of Sindhi in private and government schools and offices.

NAWABSHAH: Activists of Sindhi Adabi Sangat (SAS) and Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz held demonstrations outside local press club demanding Sindhi be declared national language.

NAUSHAHRO FEROZE: Sindh Graduate Association, SAS and Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party observed World Language Day by arranging conferences and taking out rallies in Naushahro Feroze, Moro, New Jatoi, Mithiani, Darbelo, Khan Wahen, Bhria City, Kandiaro, Halani, Mehrabpur and other towns.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2021

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