KARACHI: Members from across the aisle in the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution demanding that the Sindhi language be granted the status of national language.

While expressing their views on the resolution, the opposition and treasury lawmakers also demanded that the major languages spoken in the provinces of the country also be given status of national languages.

The resolution was tabled by Pakistan Peoples Party’s Heer Soho, who said that the mother tongues should be made mandatory part of the curriculum and all languages spoken in the country should be declared as national languages.

She said that there was a bill pending in the National Assembly in this regard and it should be approved.

She also paid tributes to the Sindhi Language Authority for organising the language conference on the occasion of the International Language Day.

The PPP MPA said that Sindhi language was not spoken in the schools of the city and emphasised the need of introducing it in the educational institutions.

Lawmakers demand passage of language bill pending in NA

Muhammad Hussain of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan said that every person was proud of their mother tongue as children got their first lesson from it. “Just as people want respect for their own language, so the language of others should also be respected,” he added.

Nand Kumar of the Grand Democratic Alliance also read the resolution and said that whoever got education in their mother tongue, their intelligence shone. “As many languages are spoken in the country, they should be given the status of national languages,’ he demanded.

PPP’s Marvi Faseeh said Sindhi language was 5,000 years old. She said that many languages had been given the status of national language in our neighbouring country.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Sanjay Ghangwani demanded that the language bill in the National Assembly be passed.

Kulsoom Chandio of the PPP said that teachers were unable to teach Sindhi language to the students at schools.

Syed Abdur Rahseed, the lone MPA of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, said that the progress of the developed and developing countries should be seen. “If you look at their literacy rate, it is their mother tongue behind the success,” he added.

The MMA lawmaker deplored that even after 75 years, Urdu had not been made the official language of the country. He also suggested that professional education should also be introduced in Urdu and Sindhi.

Provincial Minister Ismail Rahoo said in his speech that all languages are lovely. “Every language should have the status of a national language,” he said, adding that there were currently 60 languages in Pakistan.

He also urged the federal government to pass the language bill immediately. “The status of other languages will not be reduced by passing this bill. All languages are ours,” he added.

Education Minister Sardar Shah said that five students were killed by police on Feb 18, 1952 in Dhaka during a protest for getting the status of Bengali language as national language. “This is where the foundation for the separation of Bangladesh was laid,” he said.

Sardar Shah said that the importance of mother tongue could be judged by the fact that all clerks and officials were required to pass Sindhi examination during the British era in 1857.

He said that four languages of as many provinces should be given the status of national languages, adding that as many as 26 languages had been given the status of national languages in India.

Former chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, the most experienced lawmaker, recalled that the PPP had given Urdu the status of national language in the Constitution.

He said that he had moved a resolution in the Sindh Assembly in 1972 for giving Sindhi language priority in the province.

The house was adjourned to Friday at 10am after the resolution was unanimously adopted.

Published in Dawn, February 22th, 2023



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