New steps to promote Urdu at all levels
ISLAMABAD, Feb 1: A high level meeting has come up with a number of recommendations for the implementation of a constitutional provision, favouring the use of Urdu for official and other purposes.
Federal ministers Wasi Zafar, (Law, Justice, Human Rights), Zobeida Jalal (Special Education), Muhammad Ali Durrani (Information and Media Development) and Prof Dr Atta ur Rahman (Chairman Higher Education Commission), on Thursday, considered the recommendations of the National Language Authority (NLA).
The law minister presided over the meeting, which was also attended by Kamran Rasul (cabinet secretary), Chairman NLA Prof Fateh Muhammad
Malik, Secretary NLA Akhtar Munir, Prof Atash Durrani of NLA Centre for Excellence for use of Urdu in Computer networks and other cabinet division officials.
The meeting recommended that Urdu should be used at all state functions and during foreign visits of dignitaries. On all other occasions it should have an ‘enabling’ status.
Urdu translation should be provided with all documents used in the National Assembly, Senate, courts and in civil service examinations.
It was also recommended that Urdu should be the medium of instruction in educational institutions while English should be taught as a second language.
Another important decision to establish an ‘Information Centre’ for Urdu. Chairman HEC Dr Atta ur Rahman proposed the immediate establishment of the Centre.
The law minister observed that Urdu was already being used in court arguments but when these recommendations are implemented litigants would be able to submit petitions and demand judgments in Urdu.
The information minister wanted the NLA to fix a deadline for the implementation of these proposals, which he said would be put forward to the Cabinet for consideration.
Earlier, Prof Atash Durrani talked about the progress of Urdu in computer networking and said the NLA had developed the Urdu language keyboard, using the Nastalikh script. It was now working on a system to automatically translate documents into Urdu and it was much easier to translate scientific terms into Urdu than generally thought.
A Karachi-based experiment concluded that it was easier to feed data into computers using Urdu keyboards.