ISLAMABAD: Around 27 languages spoken in Northern Areas, Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and surrounding border areas of Pakistan are facing extinction, said a Unesco report.
The report, in connection with International Mother Day observed on Monday (Feb 21), revealed that language is the source of communication, education and progress and their extinction discontinue the transfer of social values to the coming generation and eventually the language are declared as dead languages.
In Pakistan, Punjabi has the highest number of speakers which are 48 per cent of the total population. However, Sindhi language is spoken by 12 per cent, Pashto and Urdu 8 per cent, Balochi 3 per cent, Hindko 2 per cent and Barohi 1 per cent.
The most common languages spoken across the world include: Chinese, Spanish, English, Hindi, Bangali, Punjabi and Urdu.
According to a research, Punjabi is ranked 11th and Urdu at 19th position among the most popular languages in the world.
To save languages, as they are the identity of a nation, Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) is giving equal importance to all languages of Pakistan and a comprehensive program has been formulated in this regard.
Chairman PAL, Fakhar Zaman said all the languages spoken in Pakistan are the national languages of Pakistan and Urdu besides being a national language is the official and Lingua of Franca of the country.
“All the languages of the country are Pakistani languages and we should strive to make the mother languages as part of curriculum on the primary level,” he said.
The book consisting of the selection of prose and poetry written in every language from 1947 to 2008 are being published separately by the PAL.
These languages include Urdu, English, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Brahvi,Seraiki, Hindko, Sheena, Balti, Khawar and Kashmiri.
He said that PAL will organize seminars and conference on National Languages in all province and Islamabad. PAL to give due promotion and status to all the languages and that the mother tongues will be given due importance and financial assistance of the institutions working in this regard will be increased.
He also proposed to the government that Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto and Balochi Universities like Federal Urdu University should be established so that the message of unity, brotherhood and solidarity should be spread through the federation.