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Last Updated: May 19, 2007 - 1:28:39 PM
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Pakistani minister wants Urdu as official language
Feb 2, 2007 - 1:11:18 PM
Minister for law and justice Wasi Zafar said that Urdu language should also be adopted in courts, as most of the laws had already been translated into Urdu.

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[RxPG] Islamabad, Feb 2 - Nearly six decades after becoming the national language of a new Pakistan, Urdu is facing 'prejudices', a senior minister said, asking that it should be made the country's official language.

Strongly recommended earlier, this had not been done because no time frame was fixed, information and broadcasting minister Muhammad Ali Durrani said.

'Despite the fact that Urdu is our national language and it also reflects our national integrity, it is facing prejudices that need to be eliminated,' the minister told a meeting of the National Language Authority -.

Developed as a blend of Persian, Arabic and Hindi in undivided India, Urdu, while emerging as a medium for literary pursuit, also became the 'language of the bazaar', facilitating interaction between the British and the Indians during the colonial era in South Asia.

Urdu was the language of millions of Muslims who moved to Pakistan on its creation in 1947.

Pakistan's founding father Mohammed Ali Jinnah emphasized on the use of Urdu. But the majority population in erstwhile East Pakistan resented the official status and efforts to make Urdu the national language.

The protests led to the 'language movement', emphasizing on Bengali language and culture in 1954, sowing the seeds of the freedom movement leading to the emergence of Bangladesh in 1971.

Durrani suggested that foreign language terminologies being used in subjects of science and mathematics should be adopted in Urdu, as new terminologies could confuse students.

He said that Urdu should be used during all national and international diplomatic ceremonies. He said that the NLA's final recommendations regarding the issue of making Urdu an official language should also include a time frame for adopting Urdu as official language, adding that similar recommendations in the past could not be implemented because they contained no time limit.

Minister for law and justice Wasi Zafar said that Urdu language should also be adopted in courts, as most of the laws had already been translated into Urdu.

'Urdu and English should be optional languages in the Federal Public Service Commission examinations as this has been recommended by all four provinces,' he said.

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