ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday ordered federal government to take steps to implement Urdu language as the official language in government offices.
The order was issued by a three-member bench led by Chief Justice Jawad S Khawaja in petitions seeking to make Urdu as official language of country as per the constitution of Pakistan promises.
The order has been effective immediately while federal government is subjected to submit a report in this regard after three months, according to verdict.
Earlier the apex court ordered federal government to translate all of the key documents into Urdu. The court further asked President and Prime Minister to make their speeches in Urdu language.
In the light of Supreme Court’s order the Prime Minister’s office has ordered all departments to ensure implementation with in three months.
Meanwhile a circular by Higher Education Commission (HEC) has asked all public and private sector universities to use Urdu as official language in all sorts of correspondence by by September 15.
The universities have been asked to translate all of their rules, admission forms and other significant contents into Urdu in a circular that itself was written in Urdu language.
According to instructions the universities will also translate all of the matter available on their websites into Urdu. “As per Article 251 of the Constitution of Pakistan, Urdu is the national language of Pakistan, and government is responsible to make arrangements for it being used for official and other purposes. Upon instructions of Supreme Court of Pakistan, the prime minister of Pakistan has approved a framework to translate of the key contents of government into Urdu in three months. Hence the recipients are also directed to take appropriate steps for the implementation of the framework,” it read.
Constitution’s Article 251
(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.