ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court was informed on Friday that the government had declared Urdu as the official language and now heads of the country, including the president, prime minister, federal ministers as well as senior government officials, will deliver speeches in Urdu in the country and during foreign tours.
The court was told that Urdu translations of government departments’ policies and laws will be published within three months.A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, heard the constitutional petition of Kokab Iqbal for declaring Urdu as the official language.
During the hearing, Secretary Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Azam Khan informed the court that the cabinet had approved the summary of declaring Urdu as the official language and the prime minister had signed the administrative order on July 6.
Under the said administrative order, heads of the country, including the president, prime minister, federal ministers as well as senior government officials, will deliver speeches in Urdu in the country on national days.
Azam Khan, while submitting the prime minister’s order in the apex court, said dignitaries representing Pakistan during foreign tours will address in Urdu. However, the international audience will be provided English transcript of their speeches.
The secretary information further said that proceedings of the government functions as well as receptions will be conducted in Urdu and this process will be initiated step wise in three months.
In 2012, The petition was filed by Advocate Rana Ilmuddin Ghazi who submitted that Quaid-i-Azam, during an address to students in Dhaka in 1948, had announced that Urdu will be the official language of Pakistan. The petitioner regretted that despite the lapse of more than 60 years, it had not been implemented.
The petitioner submitted that a majority of Pakistanis could only read and write Urdu, adding, that it would be convenient for them to communicate in their national language.
He requested the chief justice to issue directions to the government to make Urdu the country’s official language.