KARACHI - A number of lawmakers of the Sindh Assembly have demanded that the native or regional languages of all the federating units be declared as “national languages”.
It may be noted here that a former PML-Q MNA, Marvi Memon, had submitted a (similar) bill in the National Assembly seeking national status for native/regional languages. The bill had been referred to the Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and rejected with majority vote afterwards.
MNA Syed Zafar Ali Shah of the PPP and Marvi Memon had voted in favour of the bill, while other members of the committee, belonging to the PPP, PML-Q of Punjab province, and the MQM had opposed the bill.
The lawmakers from Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Seraiki area of Punjab have been demanding for declaring all provincial languages, including Balochi, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto, Seraiki, as national languages.
In this regard, Culture Minister Sassui Palijo said that the people of Pakistan had long been demanding national status for their mother tongues. She said that Urdu should be continued as top on national language and English as official language. But, she added, there would nothing wrong by giving national status to other languages. Palijo said that land and languages collectively made people’s real identity, adding, if Sindhi could be a national language in India’s constitution, then why not regional languages could be treated in the similar fashion in Pakistan.
She recalled that she had submitted a bill with the chief of the constitutional reforms committee, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, proposing status of national language for Sindhi, since it was an established ancient language.
Palijo, while supporting the resolution of the PML-F lawmaker, said denying this status to Sindhi language would be tantamount to repeating the past mistake of ignoring Bengali language.
Humera Alwani, another PPP lawmaker, seconded national language status for Sindhi and other native languages. She hoped that the Sindh Assembly would pass the resolution on Tuesday unanimously.