Madhvi Bansal | July 16, 2015 11:41 AM
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Pakistan in the month of June 2015, announced to replace English with Urdu as an official language. On May 14, 2015 the cabinet decided that Urdu would be the official language as per Article 251 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
Article 251 says:
(1) The National language of Pakistan is Urdu, and arrangements shall be made for its being used for official and other purposes within fifteen years from the commencing day.
(2) Subject to clause (1), the English language may be used for official purposes until arrangements are made for its replacement by Urdu.
(3) Without prejudice to the status of the national language, a provincial assembly may by law prescribe measures for the teaching, promotion and use of a provincial language in addition to the national language.
Implement a Cabinet Decision
The federal government has asked heads of departments to implement a cabinet decision to gradually introduce Urdu as official language. The heads of the departments were informed that working papers for cabinet meetings would be prepared in Urdu and all its proceeding and minutes would also be in the national language. The heads of departments were asked to seek suggestions and recommendations in this regard from the Higher Education Commission and the provincial authorities concerned.
Further, the bureaucracy was also asked to write notes and orders on official files in Urdu, instead of English. All the ministries have been directed to correspond with each other and with other departments in the national language. And all the government policies should be translated into Urdu.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is backing the move, which would mean a range of government documents, including passports, utility bills and websites, will be published in Urdu. All speeches made at home and abroad, from the President down to state representatives, will also be conducted in Urdu. The plan is to completely replace English with Urdu for official business within the next 10 to 15 years. It follows concerns that many young Pakistanis are shunning their national dress and language to adopt a more Western point of view.