The Supreme Court (SC) has sought a report from the federal government by July 2, 2015, on the steps taken to make Urdu the national language.
The court while expressing displeasure over lack of legislation by Punjab government for the promotion and publication of Punjabi, Seraiki and other regional languages, sought a detailed report in this regard from Punjab government by July 2. 2015.
Federal government has informed the court that a summary has been sent to the cabinet on implementation of article 251 of the constitution with regards to the introduction of Urdu as the national language, which is most likely to be approved in the next meeting of cabinet.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja has remarked, “Political compulsions will not be allowed to come in the way of implementation of Urdu as the official language. What cabinet decides, we have nothing to do with it. We will ensure implementation of article 251 as per true letter and spirit. Provincial and regional languages are our national asset and no compromise can be made on the matter of their protection.”
He further remarked, “The government, which has come into existence through the money of the people and the institutions, which are paid salaries by people, are not ready to provide the facility of language to them.”
He observed that the lawyers are collecting Rs 500 to 5,000 from the innocent clients in return for reading a court’s notice by taking advantage of language.
A two members bench of SC presided over by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja took up for hearing the case on declaration of Urdu as official language and promotion of provincial languages on Thursday.
The petitioner Kokab Iqbal and other parties appeared in the court.
Justice Jawwad remarked, “If some criminal comes and says that he is facing some difficulties and then will we accept his plea? In the matter of tax a person said he is not comprehending delicate things written in English. Everything should be written in an easy language. How will we pay tax if we cannot understand English. All the difficult things have been written in English. What should anyone do about it?”
Justice Jawwad remarked, “Balochistan and KP have legislated the promotion of local languages. Sindh is also doing this work. As far as provinces are concerned, all have legislated except Punjab. Wherever some language fails, Urdu language succeeds therein. Punjab government says fire the bullet to Punjabi and let the job proceed in Urdu. We will not allow this to be done.”
Justice Jawwad remarked, “Kaseve is the last town and then comes Indian border. Oopa Ram Bhagat never went outside Kaseve and people talk to each other in Urdu. Political expediency is coming in the way. I started writing judgments in Urdu and now I am facing no difficulty. We are writing decisions in Urdu despite the fact that we have written all verdicts in English throughout our lives. Why can’t the government do the same?”
Kokab Iqbal said, “Seats remained vacant for two years in respect of Idara Farogh-e-Urdu and now DMG officer has been appointed.”
Justice Jawwad remarked that a bouquet of languages is available in our country.