Proud heritage: Resolution adopted to declare Sindhi national language
KARACHI: Sindh Assembly adopted a resolution to declare Sindhi as a national language however, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmakers walked out after they were not allowed to speak on the resolution.
On Tuesday, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) MPA Nand Kumar moved a resolution requesting to declare ‘Sindhi’ as a national language in Pakistan. In his speech, Kumar said that Sindhi is one of the richest and oldest languages, but it has yet to be given national status in the country.
“India has declared Sindhi as a national language, which before partition [of British India] was the official language of this province, but our governments have ignored this issue,” he said, adding that after declaring Sindhi as a national language the students across Pakistan can take it as an optional subject in their syllabi.
Parliamentary leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Syed Sardar Ahmed, initially opposed the resolution but later recommended that it be referred to the standing committee for feedback.
“Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah only gave Urdu the status of a national language. After adopting this resolution, the people from other provinces like Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will also come up with the same demand. This is a sensitive issue, so please don’t make [a decision] in haste,” he remarked.
Parliamentary affairs minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro supported the resolution and said, “There is no harm in taking this initiative. Through this resolution we can demand the federal government [to make Sindhi a national language]. If the Indian government can declare dozens of languages as national languages then why can’t Pakistan?”
Culture minister Syed Sardar Shah was of the view that not only Sindhi has been declared national language in India, but government of Gujarat has established Institute of Sindhology to promote the language and carry out research on it.
“We also love Urdu which should be the language of coordination,” he said, adding that not only Sindhi, but all other regional languages of Pakistan should be declared national languages.
The PPP and opposition MPAs from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and PML-Functional raised their hands to speak on the issue. The deputy speaker, Shehla Raza, promised the lawmakers that she will give them time, but suddenly put the resolution for voting.
Despite Khuhro’s request, Raza did not give members any time to speak on the issue and said, “We are already running short of time, so cannot afford to allow debate on it.”
This irked most of the PPP MPAs who stood up. Education minister Jam Mahtab Dahar said, “You cannot maintain quorum and run the session if our members are not allowed to speak on this important resolution”.
The deputy speaker did not heed and put the resolution in the house for voting. Though the resolution was passed, the majority of PPP members staged a walkout in protest against Raza’s attitude leaving behind only 35 opposition and treasury members. After a lack of quorum was highlighted, Raza adjourned the session for five minutes following which speaker Agha Siraj Durrani chaired the session. As the MPAs continued to boycott the proceedings, the speaker adjourned the session till Wednesday.
The assembly also adopted a resolution to have medico-legal centres in all private hospitals.
Moving the resolution, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPA Dr Seema Zia said private hospitals don’t treat the road or gunshot injuries and refer the cases to government hospitals.
Health minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro said the assembly has already passed a bill on this issue asking all private hospitals to give first aid to the victims in case of emergency. “It will be criminal negligence of those hospitals that don’t treat the patients in emergency and refer them to government hospitals,” he said.
Later, the assembly passed the resolution unanimously. Earlier, the assembly adopted the resolution passed by PTI MPA Khurum Sher Zaman against K-Electric demanding action against the power utility for excessive billing, load-shedding and other malpractices.