Reason Before Passion

Sindhi, Pakistani and a Sufi Muslim

Chronicles of Pakistan: The Urdu Controversy

It is a well known fact that the integrity of any nation depends upon its people and how much they associate themselves to their country. When that integrity gets fractured or the people refrain from associating themselves with the country, it’s just a matter of time before the boundaries shift.

We saw that in the case of Soviet Union when few countries broke away to become independent nations, leaving behind economically weaker Russia. Pakistan is another case where its eastern-wing broke away to become Bangladesh. Plenty of other countries have faced similar fate in recent or distant past. In recent history, only two nations were formed on the name of religion soon after World War 2; Israel for the Jews and Pakistan for the Muslims.

Jews flocked from all over the world to the place where it now stands as Israel. There was no native Jew but plenty of Arabs (most of them Muslim) that now constitute Palestine. In essence, nearly all Jews of Israel are migrants from different parts of the world. To them the language that religiously binds them is Hebrew and common language that they use is mostly English (some use other languages as well like French, Italian or Spanish). The areas of serious conflict among them are next to none because everyone knows their place in the society, they are nearly all migrants and they already have severe hostile environment around them which keeps them on their toes. Nearly all other countries are based on their language or geographic characteristics … except Pakistan.

Pakistan is neither based on language nor on geographic characteristics. It is based on only one factor and that is the religion of Islam. At the time of creation the local Muslims of Pakistan were Punjabis from the province of Punjab, Sindhis from the province of Sindh, Pushtoons from the province of N.W.F.P (now Khayber Pakhtoonkhwa), Balochis from the province of Balochistan and Bangalis that comprised of the whole East Pakistan. The languages mostly spoken at that time were Bengali, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto, Balochi and Saraiki.

After partition another language joined the ranks of most spoken languages … Urdu. The speakers of Urdu language were migrants from Central India who came to Pakistan for security, economical and religious reasons. The binding factor among the local Muslims and migrants was Islam, however Arabic language was never the binding force for communication. A very small part of population could speak in Arabic, the rest of the country spoke in other local languages.

Each segment of society had its own geographic value, language, culture and lifestyle. These segments all combined to become the state of Pakistan and they continue to be proud of their heritage. Migrants on the other hand brought a completely different culture to Pakistan which was foreign to the locals. The culture from central India was richer and language had seen tremendous growth in recent years, however the migrants formed a very small minority in the country.

The Punjabi migrants had settled in Punjab comfortably and so had Bengalis in East Pakistan but Urdu speaking migrants settled in some parts of Punjab and Bengal but majority headed to urban centers of Sindh. They mostly settled in Karachi and Hyderabad, effectively making these two prime cities of Sindh as their area of influence. Muslim League, the drive force behind the creation of Pakistan, was heavily dominated by Muslims from central India who were Urdu speakers. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, could hardly speak Urdu but he along with other members declared Urdu as the national language of Pakistan.

That became the first strike on the integrity of Pakistan.

Many people will disagree with me as so many have done over the years. The most common arguments I have heard in support of Urdu paint either Urdu speakers as tragic heroes of horrible tale or neglected child in need of greater consolation. These arguments usually are:

–          The migration card: Urdu speakers left their homes, lost families to brutal killers, travelled long distances with little food and water, sacrificed their lands and fortunes all for the sake of Pakistan. Since their sacrifices are the greatest, Urdu deserves to be the National language.

–          The minority card: Urdu speakers form minority in Pakistan and have no ethnic and geographic identity like other groups. Therefore Urdu should remain as National language so that Urdu speakers don’t feel neglected or left out.

–          The unity card: Since the state of Pakistan has many languages, declaring any of them as national language will lead to conflicts and great unrest in the country. We need a language that is not native in order to maintain peace among all the Pakistanis and Urdu is best choice.

–          The no-nonsense card: Quaid-E-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah declared Urdu as national language, bas baat khatam. No more nonsense against Urdu.

I came across too many people with these arguments and finally gave up. None of the above arguments are good enough justify keeping Urdu as the sole national language of Pakistan. All the progressive countries, and I really mean all, have either one or two languages at most for communication as well as education. They generate educational, business and every other related content in the local languages and keep one language for international communication (English in most cases).

For a country like India that has similar cultural structure as Pakistan, the easiest solution was to declare 15 languages as official languages of the country and greater autonomy to the provinces. This helped the provinces to develop on their own with people getting proficient in about 4 local languages and one international (usually English). They did their education in the primary language, learned their religious language if felt the inclination, went after English if decided to go abroad and learned one or two more local languages to communicate with Indians from other provinces.

In the case of Pakistan we have ONLY Urdu as national language that is primary language for less than 10% of the population. Our religious language is Arabic which no one bothers to learn. The primary languages of the rest of the Pakistanis have lost meaning since due to lack of provincial autonomy the education in their primary language is simply meaningless if they want to progress, they HAVE to be proficient in Urdu (a language completely foreign to them) if they want to progress within Pakistan and in English if they want to go abroad … and finding proper teachers for both these languages for whole of Pakistan is another nightmare better left untouched.

Some even say that it’s better to learn just Urdu in order to progress and not three or four languages like Indians. I say it is better to learn three or four languages because it will help us understand the people of our own country, their lifestyle and mindset and no one will resent Urdu as the language that was imposed on them and turning their own proud and ancient language useless in this modern era. You learn a lot about a person by conversing with them in their mother tongue and it gives an insight to their culture and lifestyle. I have not seen Urdu speakers ever caring to learn Sindhi, Punjabi, Pushto or Balochi, let alone trying to learn about their culture and lifestyle. In recent years their major obsession has become English which now has rendered their mother tongue useless. Neither any progress is taking place to add quality to Urdu nor new great writers or poets emerging; no great material is being translated … even the native speakers of Urdu now prefer to learn English at the expense of their mother tongue. This one language has not just rendered every other local language useless but also effectively hanged itself in the process.

Let me just explain how useless the earlier mentioned arguments are:

–          The migration card: Punjabis and Bengalis also left their homes and have equal or greater claim than Urdu speakers in many respects, both forming more than 70% of Pakistan’s population at the time of partition. Bengalis even fought for it and got Bengali as co-national language but they were resented for that and that small friction grew so large that ultimately East Pakistan broke away to become Bangladesh. The difference was started BECAUSE of Urdu declared as national language.

–          The minority card: Feeling left out could be considered a factor at the time of partition but if even after 60 years of Independence the Urdu speakers would feel left out if Urdu is removed or does not remain the sole national language of Pakistan, then the question arise whether Urdu speakers truly settled in Pakistan. It simply means the Urdu speakers came here for benefits on the cost of indigenous population and are not willing to learn or understand the vary province they live in, let alone the rest of the country. If it is about being minority and having no ethnic geographic identity than the better choice would have been Arabic language. It is spoken by a very small minority, it is not native to Pakistan, it is our religious language so masses would have readily accepted it and it would have matched perfectly with Pakistan’s basic reason for creation, the religion of Islam.

–          The unity card: Again, if it is about being non-native in order to maintain harmony than a better language would have been Arabic. Again, it is not native to Pakistan, it’s our religious language, relates to the reason Pakistan was created and masses would have readily accepted it. Most of all, learning Arabic would have broken the power of Muslim clergy (i.e. Mullahs) who behave as sole protectors of Islam in Pakistan as common man would have been able to understand both Quran and Sunnah much better.

–          The no-nonsense card: If it is about Jinnah’s order than let us remember that Jinnah also wanted Pakistan to be secular and not Islamic Republic, that minorities should get equal rights to practice their religion and Karachi to be capital of Pakistan. Jinnah even had the national anthem prepared from a famous Hindu poet of Urdu language, Jagannath. Have we followed the other wishes/commands to the heart like Urdu one?

With so many differences caused just by declaring one language as national language at the expanse of all other native languages, 60 years worth of damage and a complete loss of land cannot be reversed. What can be done is to mend what can be mended and give a sense to unity in order to feel accepted. Recently Marvi Memon presented a bill to declare other local languages as National languages of Pakistan along with Urdu but it was rejected quite vehemently. It is hard to understand the reasons for such opposition despite glaring realities but some matters always remain unexplained.

In my childhood a tutor came to teach me and my neighbor Ahmed when we were 10 years old and during one session we were working on an Urdu lesson. I asked my friend to name areas where Urdu is spoken in Pakistan. After some hesitation he said Urdu is spoken in all of Pakistan to which I said wrong (the question was out of that lesson’s context anyway). Surprisingly it was the tutor who said that Ahmed is right and Urdu is spoken all over Pakistan.

Baffled, I said no one speaks Urdu in Larkana or even the village from where I belong. If I speak in Urdu there, hardly anyone would understand what I speak. The tutor simply rolled over my objection and sternly said “Urdu is spoken all over Pakistan, bas baat khatam”.

My only response was silence. Some people in Larkana may speak in Urdu (a sizeable Urdu speaking population settled in Larkana after partition) but as a child I have only seen Sindhi being spoken throughout interior Sindh and no other language. Even the Pathans and Balochis that have lived here for generations speak Sindhi. You take up interior Punjab and it is full of various dialects of Pubjabi, none of the speakers understanding a word of Urdu.

As explained in the book “Political Dynamics of Sindh: 1947 – 1977”, the partition of 1947 saw emigration of 943,000 Sindhis (Hindus and Sikhs) and influx of 1,167,000 Muslims from Central India to Sindh that mainly settled in the Urban centers of the province, particularly Karachi where nearly 1,046,825 settled directly while more shifted from interior Sindh at a later time.

The first language controversy sparked when provincial government of Sindh made it mandatory to pass an exam in Sindhi for government jobs in 1948. Urdu speakers retaliated by using authority of Federal government to make it mandatory to learn Urdu from grade 1 to Matriculation throughout Sindh (Karachi was capital in those days, completely under control of Federal Government that was fully dominated by Urdu speaking members of Muslim League who did not supported provincial autonomy as promised before the partition). This was especially imposed in Karachi and Hyderabad where Federal government and Urdu speakers had the most influence.

It clearly shows that the language conflict is as old as Pakistan itself and began during the lifetime of Jinnah who was unable to address it. In fact, many of the decisions taken by him in this regard actually complicated the matter and created a negative atmosphere. Jinnah, however, cannot be blamed for that. He was a man fighting illness that had nearly consumed him, he was fighting the fissures that were breaking the party apart, he was facing the Indians on the matter of Kashmir, he was facing the British in matters of governance, he was facing the US for financial and technological support and he was facing the pro-congress elements in Pakistan to make sure the new country survives its initial years. Moreover, he was a Barrister, not an educationist or graduate of social sciences to understand the implications of many pro-Urdu measures taken in and after his time.

Note: The purpose of this article is not about encouraging anti-Urdu or anti-Mohajir sentiments but to shed light on some of the problems Pakistan face related to Urdu’s enforced status as National language of Pakistan. The views of others would obviously differ and I respect that, however allow me to remind you that history itself has no emotion, just plain facts and logic. The article is written to enlighten the reader about a small part of Pakistan’s history.

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August 21, 2011 - Posted by | Chronicles of Pakistan | , , ,

19 Comments »

  1. Great work brother. I’m from a recently formed online youth magazine named ‘Circles’. I really liked this article a lot and want you to share this in our magazine and write more stuff for it. You can get me at jadoon.haris21@gmail.com

    Comment by Haris Jadoon | August 28, 2011 | Reply

    • Agreed. This is a really nice article and should be promoted.

      Comment by Wanderer | August 28, 2011 | Reply

      • Thanks guys. I am doing what I can, you can find this blog on the first page of Google search for “Urdu Controversy”. Rest is up to the readers and promotion of the content in their circles.

        I have emailed you Haris, would like to know more about Cirlces and what it entails.

        Comment by Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi | August 28, 2011 | Reply

  2. I came across this blog following your replies to someone’s post on another blog about the situation in Karachi and Sindh. I liked the way that despite being a Sindhi, you expressed the historical facts in a very neutral manner. Your educated comments didn’t reflect your ethnic heritage as it was cleared of any bias and I was surprised to read on your blog that you are an ethnic Sindhi. I have mentioned all this because there are very few people in Pakistan who can stay clear of their affiliated hatreds while relating to an issue. Kudos to you for that, praise should be mentioned where it is needed.

    The first article that I read on this blog was about the Urdu controversy. This is because I have always been interested in this topic myself. I agree with all the points you mentioned in this article. I am from Punjab but not an ethnic Punjabi since my ancestors migrated to Punjab around 200 years ago from Iran. They settled in East Punjab and had to migrate to West Punjab in 1947 (like millions of other Punjabi’s). But they adopted the Majhi dialect of Punjabi as their mother tongue. Nowadays, my grandparents, my parents and even my generation are worried about the status of Punjabi being degraded and silently eroded in Pakistan. Aah!! I can understand the pain the Sindhi Muslims feel about their language being neglected in their own homeland. And the sad part is that the damage done to these indigenous, beautiful (every culture and every language reflects the beauty of that land) and ancient languages for the last 64+ years can never be reversed 😦

    I have always been interested in why Bangladesh was formed and I have come to the same conclusion that Urdu being imposed as the sole national language sowed the first seed of Bengali nationalism. Though Bengali’s had economic and other grievances, but I have met Bangladeshi’s who told me about the Language Movement of Feb. 1952, the Shaheed Minar in Dhaka, the Language Martyrs, declaration of Feb.1952 as the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO, Bengali’s being the only people in the world who sacrificed their blood for their mother tongue!

    I study in U.S. and have many friends from different parts of Pakistan. Some of my Urdu speaking friends (as they like to call themselves) from Karachi take pride in making fun of my language Punjabi in front of my face, which they deem as highly inferior (why would a language be inferior?) and also proudly state that why would they bother respecting Punjabi which belongs to another part of Pakistan when they don’t even consider Sindhi equal to Urdu despite living on the land that belongs to Sindh!

    All this might be a long discussion but I just think that other than the issues of resource distribution etc, one of the reasons why Pakistan is still not progressing has to do with the imposition of a foreign language on the native population. It is highly painful to see a child in one of the villages from Punjab who speaks Punjabi dialects, from Sindh who speaks Sindhi or from KPK who speaks Pushto and other dialects, to learn a foreign language to deem any chance of progress. Sigh! This to me, is the sheer waste of talent and intelligence.

    I would like to hear your input (positive or negative) on my post since your article is the only one I have come across in a long time that holds some solid facts. I also hope that you promote this article since depriving any group of their mother tongue is a grave injustice and silent genocide since language is the sole guardian of a nation’s culture, history and heritage.

    Comment by Wanderer | August 28, 2011 | Reply

    • Dear Wanderer, thank you for the praise. I call myself ethnic Sindhi however if you look at the history then few hundred years back my ancestors came from middle east as Muslim invaders and some settled down in this region, continuing the line of Abbasids (the Caliph and royal family of Muslim empire at that time). Despite the Arab lineage we have been living in Sindh for the past several hundred years, a land that accepted us, land that is mentioned in Sunnah (Holy Prophet had said good words about Sindh despite the fact it took many years before the first Muslim stepped on Sindh’s soil), land of the Sufis (Makli graveyard alone has hundreds of Sufi graves) and a land that gave me an identity. I am effectively a Sindhi, both heart and soul, despite the history.

      You have said it truly, it is difficult to find neutral point of views and I managed it because I have lived all my life among Urdu speakers. I can count Sindhi speaking friends on fingers but Urdu speakers are uncountable and I have viewed the lifestyle and behavior academically all my life. Some of the books also helped me in creating coherent thoughts, particularly “Political Dynamics of Sindh: 1947 till 1977”. It is a thesis which is published as a book and highly informative in explaining the volatile situation of Sindh. Dr. Tariq Rehman’s articles on history of Urdu and Sindhi-Urdu controversy are also great source of knowledge.

      I have nothing against the Urdu speakers, largely because when they came to Pakistan they had certain mindset and expectations which was completely different from indigenous population. Long story short, the migrants thought Pakistan formed because of their efforts of several decades while indigenous people thought Pakistan formed because they agreed to be part of it on the promise of provincial autonomy. Both clashed, and the one with better education and government jobs got the upper hand.

      Bangladeshis are lucky people, they had the courage to stand together and fight for it. Sindhis have been unlucky largely due to their hospitality nature, patience (they practice “Wait and See” formula) and difference of opinion (for some Sindh comes first, for others Pakistan). If the indigenous people had stood up when Bangladesh was formed, forced acceptance of provincial autonomy and gotten declared other regional languages as National Languages, then more than half of Pakistan would have been as good, if not better, than Malaysia and Singapore which were as bad as Pakistan was in the 70s (and unfortunately still is).

      I have seen Urdu speakers make fun of Punjabis and Pathans in front of me and sometimes mock their accents, though few ever said anything against Sindhis. in front of me at least. Their cell phones nearly always full of either Pathan or Punjabi crude jokes, but that is because we reached this stage due to ethnic politics by the so-called leaders in Sindh. In the past I have always been interrupted by Urdu speakers to speak in Urdu in front of them and no other language … they always said it is “rude” to speak some other language if the other party didn’t understand it. I used to sheepishly accept it.

      Now, if it happens, I simply ask them “Why not learn the language then? You can’t always complain ignorance. Even we feel rude when forced to talk in Urdu when we can easily converse in Sindhi”. It either results in silence or the usual complaints about effort of learning language of no practical use.

      I highly agree with you that it pains when we are made fun of our language in front of our face but I feel more for you since people usually respect me enough not to be that offensive. I just wish that every child in Pakistan get the chance to learn and get educated in his/her mother tongue and then gladly progress to learn Urdu and English to benefit from their rich literature. I have myself read books such as “Shahab-Nama” and “Raja Gidh” with great delight, hoping to read “Ali-Poor ka Aili” soon.

      I have done my part of writing this article and often share it on different websites. It is now up to the readers like you to help promote what should be promoted. I do not hunger for publicity, it’ll come when it wants to. My main concern is dissemination of knowledge to the right people and make them aware of the problems that have formed hateful mindsets. We are reacting to each other’s words and actions and not caring about the root-cause of most problems. This article is just the first of the series, I will be writing more when I will return to Karachi after Eid.

      Comment by Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi | August 28, 2011 | Reply

    • Just out of curiosity, did you arrived at my blog following my comment on Tanzeel’s blog regarding Muhajir province? I still have to hear his reply. He has been replying on his other posts but have totally ignored what I wrote there (in rather aggressive way then I should have).

      Comment by Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi | August 28, 2011 | Reply

      • I will respond you today.

        Comment by Tanzeel | August 29, 2011 | Reply

        • Thank you for taking out time. I have responded to your recent comment. Hoping to have a meaningful conversation.

          Comment by Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi | September 2, 2011 | Reply

    • To make fun of anyone because of their language, color of skin, religion, region of the world, culture is ignorance pure and simple. Such people ought to be confronted and if possible corrected. Do so politely, clearly (reject the offending views not the person) If you don’t respect me I will have nothing to do with you. All of us have biases and prejudices, educate them, give them a chance to correct themselves, if they persist shun them. No violence verbal or physical is necessary.

      At the same it is responsibility of each of us to root out our own biases and intolerance. May God bless you an d show you light of reason.

      Comment by Syed Kamal | September 2, 2011 | Reply

  3. Janab Abbasi Sahib, I currently live in Malir Cantt, Karachi and am a dual national of Pakistan and Canada. As part of my travels on the net I take special interest in sites of Sindhi nationalists and others. I find their content very disturbing. You young man are breath of fresh air. God bless you for your liberal and progressive views.

    You will usually find my posts under the nom de plume of Logial Dude. Your partiality to Urdu is flattering but may not be in the best interest of our society and country. As it is Pakistan is an ungovernable mess with fractures in every direction. Let’s take a more tolerant and harmonious approach towards the question of official languages.

    For all of humanity’s history language has been an important and emotional subject. As many of our choices (personal and community) as possible should be voluntary (without compulsion whether familial, social or political) as possible. Translation every province should be free to choose its official language, any language. The muslims of British India chose Urdu as the official language of their new home. That was then, now feelings are different. If majority of Pakistanis prefer Urdu to be the official language of the federation, then that is fine. If they choose something else that is OK. In other words choose languages at provincial and federal level whatever is the desire of the populce, and may be in the best interest of the province and the federation.

    We the Urdu-speaking minority don’t want to be blamed for forcing our language on anyone. Also no one should feel that they doing us a favor by chosing Urdu as official language anywhere in the country. We will exercise our political franchise and vote according to our conscience on all questions be those about language or anything else. Whatever the decision of the majority we will accept it. That is in the best interest of Urdu-speaking community, the provinces and the federation.

    What benefits will flow to our country and society from chosing Urdu as official language is a different subject, we can talk about it some other time. May I suggest a creed for your blog: “REASON BEFORE PASSION” Thank you.

    Comment by Syed Kamal | September 2, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you for taking out time and commenting on the blog Kamal sahab. It is good to know people still consider me progressive even though some people actually called me “Barbaric Fueldal-lover” and “Muhajir hater” when I had tried to present a different, albeit unpopular, opinion about problems and conflicts in Pakistan. I had expected rather hateful responses to my Urdu controversy article, so far the replies are positive.

      I never came across your nickname, maybe because either we surf and comment on different sites or I rarely worry about names and more about the content of the comment. Will be on the lookout from now on-wards 🙂

      The surprising thing is that even though the provinces and federation are free to choose whichever language they deem fit as provincial and national language(s) respectively, it has always remained a controversial subject.

      For example, when Sindh declared that it is compulsory to pass Sindhi exam to be considered for Provincial jobs, it created riots in 1948 (as mentioned in the article). The same thing happened when Sindhi was declared provincial language, it triggered another round of Sindhi-Urdu controversy and finally both were declared Sindh’s provincial languages. All other provinces (Punjab, NWFP and Balochistan) had, surprisingly, declared Urdu as provincial language despite having little or next to none Urdu speaking population.

      The reasons I see is that a certain cadre in Punjab prefers Urdu and their influence have been so much that Lahore has effectively become Urdu speaking city even though very few Urdu speakers live there. Balochistan has always been under military control with a puppet government that always agrees to popular federal philosophy. As for NWFP, their pro-Congress elements that were nationalist in nature were not allowed to make provincial government. For example, if I remember correctly, the Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s government was dismissed right after one week of Pakistan’s birth.

      Even our constitution has no space left to dismiss Urdu from the spot of National language. It has been fixed up there and no one can budge it, maybe not even with 2/3rd majority.

      I will write more details when back in Karachi.

      Comment by Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi | September 2, 2011 | Reply

      • For ur info dear, Urdu was official language in Punjab and NWFP even before partition. In Baluchistan Urdu was declared official language bu Buzenjo ( Provincialist Baloch leader). He was not Military puppet. And even he was military puppet, then military is not dominated by urdu speakers. Majority belong to Punjab and KPK.

        Comment by saad | April 16, 2012 | Reply

        • A valid point raised by you Saad. Urdu indeed was official language of some of the provinces of Pakistan, however that is outside the context of this article since it chronicles Pakistan and factors that contribute to the instability based on language problems. But since you raised it, allow me to remind you that majority of the Muslims dominated provinces had Persian as dominant language until Britishers encouraged its replacement with Hindustani (the predecessor of both Urdu and Hindi). Urdu, in effect, was not the official language of Pubjab or NWFP but Hindustani was. According to Dr. Tariq Rehman, the language Hindustani was the most commonly spoken language of the subcontinent which fell victim to Hindu-Muslim differences. Because of that, Muslims started to use Persian and Arabic words liberally when conversing in Hindustani in a attempt to make it more ISLAMIC while Hindus began to use more Sanskrit words in Hindustani in order to differentiate from Muslims. Later on the Sanskrit dominated Hindustani became Hindi while Persian and Arabic dominant Hindustani became Urdu. In reality, Hindustani was the official language of both Pubjab and NWFP but was renamed Urdu to make it more “Islamic”.

          On the other hand, provinces like Bengal and Sindh always had their respective languages as the official languages. Britishers never replaced them and even the British governors for these provinces were required to pass an exam in the local language in order to qualify for posting there. With two powerfully independent languages already present, enforcing Urdu as the sole official language created the first rift between locals and migrants.

          Moreover, Jinnah also dismissed several key provincial leaders within weeks of creation of Pakistan. For example, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s provincial government in NWFP was dismissed right after one week of joining Pakistan and in his place his arch rival, Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, was made the provincial head who implemented all policies as dictated by the Muslim League (which was heavily dominated by Muslims from central provinces and enforced policies that were heavily favouring the Urdu-speaking migrants). I still have to confirm if NWFP’s declaration of Urdu as provincial language was done by Ghaffar Khan or Qayyum Khan.

          My analysis are more heavily influenced with regards to Sindh and overall effects on Pakistan, therefore at this moment I cannot comment on Punjab’s and Balochistan’s decision to declare Urdu as provincial languages; however the evidence of Muslim League’s heavy handedness with regards to provincial autonomy, encouraging provincial infighting in all provinces and enforcing policies more suited to Urdu-Speaking migrants is very clear since the start. Therefore I see implementation of Urdu at provincial level as an extension of the same use of authority at Federal level.

          Comment by Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi | April 16, 2012 | Reply

  4. […] that time a certain Syed Kamal came across my blog and also commented on my Chronicles of Pakistan: The Urdu Controversy blog post. We had an interesting talk over the phone and he later emailed me his article about how […]

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  5. […] Chronicles of Pakistan: The Urdu Controversy […]

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  6. Excellent articles and comments. We really need to get in the habit of respect each other’s beautiful cultures.

    Comment by reformistani | April 4, 2012 | Reply

  7. What is this MInority card. Never heard or read abt that before this article regarding muhajir population. Kindly give some evidence not just notopns for the sake of points. Similarly Maigration card IF used by muhajirs is not used EVER for implimentation of Urdu as official language. It is always used for economic purposes.

    Comment by saad | April 16, 2012 | Reply

    • If you haven’t heard of this ‘Minority Card’ then either you are blissfully ignorant or simply playing dumb. All schools in Karachi teach the same that Urdu was implemented in Pakistan because ‘Urdu is the only dominant language that does not have any geographical boundary like Sindhi, Pubjabi, Balochi and Pushto; therefore it is kept as official language so that there is no fighting between provinces to get their language declared as official and neither are Urdu-Speakers left out’. I myself did all the schooling from Karachi, from Beaconhouse Gulshan Campus, and not one but 3 different Urdu teachers gave the same answer in response to the question raised “Why was Urdu declared as the only official language?”.

      There is no IF with regard to “Minority Card”, it is already being used as well as taught at school. It hasn’t been included in curriculum as far as I recall, but teachers continue to teach that to students. There is not just Economic purpose behind it.

      Comment by Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi | April 16, 2012 | Reply

  8. yaaro larna chordo our joron pay tayl lagao

    Comment by Tayleeee | March 28, 2014 | Reply


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