Practical efforts needed to implement Urdu as official language: Irfan Siddiqui

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Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage (NHLH) Irfan Siddiqui on Wednesday said that practical efforts, as well as national spirit, was needed at all levels for implementing Urdu as an official language of Pakistan.

He was presiding over the inaugural session of a national dialogue on ‘National Language and Pakistani Languages: Background and Preview’ arranged by National Language Promotion Department (NLPD).

Speaking on the occasion, Irfan Siddiqui said that the present government was taking practical measures for realising the dream of implementing Urdu as an official language which has been a constitutional requirement for decades.

“A national language carries its own distinction and pride which cannot be altered or replaced. The Urdu language is not a language of a specific region which is its distinctive quality and it is spreading consistently without government patronage through the literary contribution of Urdu writers and poets”, Irfan Siddiqui observed

He said that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Muhammad Iqbal and leaders of Pakistan movement through the platform of All India Muslim League declared to implement Urdu as a national language and now, it was our national, constitutional and legal duty to implement Urdu as an official language.

Irfan Siddiqui said that his ministry had started working on implementing Urdu as an official language in different phases, following the directives of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

Listing some initiatives, Advisor to Prime Minister, Irfan Siddiqui said that the official documents consisting of 1, 00,000 pages had been translated into language while around 700 books of NLPD had been converted into Nastaleeq Font.

Irfan Siddiqui said that the directives had been issued to inscribe official nameplates and boards in the Urdu language while all public departments were being asked to use Urdu as formal means of communication. Around 70 per cent websites of ministries and departments had been developed in the Urdu language, he added.

He said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had approved eight awards for the writers contributing in regional Pakistani languages. These awards will be conferred on the best writers from this year.

Prominent literary personalities including Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik, Masood Mufti and Chairman NLPD Iftikhar Arif also addressed on the occasion.