SHAFAQNA Â -Â Pakistan is to abolish English as its official language in favour of Urdu.
The language swap was a matter of discussion for a long time now.Â Minister of Development Planning and National Reform, Ahsan IqbalÂ confirmed the language reform in his latest interview with The Times. Iqbal said that the decision was based on a court decision in 1973.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is backing the move, which would mean a range of government documents – including passports, utility bills and websites – will be published in Urdu.
All speeches made at home and abroad, from the president down to state representatives, will also be conducted in Urdu.
The plan is to completely replace English with Urdu for official business within the next 10 to 15 years.
Some Pakistanis fear that the move is part of an official backlash against the younger generation, which has been more open to Western culture.
But Iqbal argued that the move would help make Pakistan more democratic, since it will â€œhelp provide greater participation to people who donâ€™t know English, hence making the government more inclusive.â€
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