SANGHAR: President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto today [March 31] denounced the self-seeking elements who, he said, were exploiting the gullible masses on the language issue and warned that no disruptionist activity would be tolerated. He made it plain that the question of national language would be decided by the National Assembly. If that sovereign body decided to have only one national language for the country, the nation will have one national language; if it wanted ten national languages, there will be ten national languages, he added.

Addressing his first public meeting in the interior of Sind since becoming President of the country, Mr Bhutto brushed aside fears expressed in certain quarters about the majority being turned into a minority in Sind. He categorically said that in Sind or for that matter in any other province, all the inhabitants were the citizens of Pakistan and had equal rights and opportunities. He declared that his Government would do justice to all, irrespective of who they were, what language they spoke and what traditions they held.

He deprecated the burning of Urdu newspapers by some young men. He said if anybody thought that by burning Urdu newspapers, he could obliterate Urdu language, he was sadly mistaken. The President also deplored the incidents in Hyderabad a few days ago in which knives had been used. He said that the status of Urdu could not be raised by using knives. This, he said, was hooliganism and could not be tolerated.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2022

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