LAHORE, Dec 31: Punjabi Language Movement convener Nazeer Kahut has demanded that the government introduce the Punjabi Language Act in the Punjab Assembly.

He sought the Punjabi language to be declared the sole official and judicial language of Punjab. The PLM is a newly-built organisation pledging to work for the promotion of the language and culture.

Speaking at the Lahore Press Club on Friday, he also demanded that Punjabi be adopted as the official language of the house by the Punjab Assembly, senior Punjabi writers and intellectuals appointed members of the boards of directors of the Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture, the Punjab University, the Punjabi Language Authority and the Punjabi Academy of Letters.

That Nadra must start issuing the national identity cards in Punjabi, 10 per cent of Punjab’s GDP be allocated for the development of the Punjabi language education and culture, the PTV and Radio Pakistan must launch Punjabi FM stations and BBC launch its Punjabi service, were other demands.

Mr Kahut stressed that Punjab’s educational institutions be provided with the required Punjabi teaching staff. He said the PLM rejected the division of Punjab at any cost. He further demanded that areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that includes Dera Ismail Khan, Tank and Hazara be merged with Punjab.

A national cultural day be celebrated, the name of the federal capital Islamabad be changed to New Taxila and the Indus Valley culture be declared the national culture of Pakistan, he demanded.

He said the very existence of the Punjabi language, the mother-tongue of more than 100 million people of Punjab, was threatened. He announced that on first of Waisakhi each year “Punjabi Pagdi and Chunni Cultural Day” would be celebrated and the PLM had declared 2011 the year of the Punjabi language.

He said a Punjabi Language Action Committee would be formed and all likeminded organisations, intellectuals, workers and supporters would be invited to join the movement. He said a mutually-agreed charter of demands would be presented to parliament, federal and provincial governments, the United Nations, Unesco and other international forums to end injustices being committed by the federation against the Punjabi language.

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