Islamabad February 22, 2020 – Mudasser Chudhary:
Demand for equal rights and constitutional protection of all languages was the highlight of second day at PAKISTAN Mother Languages Literature Festival.
The second day of the festival organized by Indus Cultural Forum in collaboration with Pakistan National Council of the Arts and other partners was full of literary, cultural and intellectual attractions. Other partners of the festival include Governments of SIndh and Punjab, Foundation Open Society Institute, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Pakistan, Alternative Research Initiative, Society for Alternative Media and Research, ECO Science Foundation and Pakistan Science Foundation.
Speaking at a session titled ‘Constitution of Pakistan and Protection of Mother Languages’, renowned human rights activist I A Rehman said the state should ensure that all languages are equal and respected equally. He said constitutional provisions on protection of languages should put the obligation on state to protect languages and it should be responsibility and not an option. He said demand for respect for mother languages should be part of central agenda for democratic rights and freedoms.
Former Chief Minister of Balochistan and President of National Party Dr Malik Baloch said that his government introduced and implemented legislation to provide mother tongue based education at primary level. He said recognition of all languages will not put any language in danger but it will strengthen Pakistan because every citizen will feel respected and will respect others.
Senator Sassui Palijo of Pakistan People’s Party said she has moved a bill to recognize major languages of Pakistan as national languages during previous government. She said she continues to struggle for passage of that bill but she feels resistance from those who are centralists and don’t want languages to be recognized.
Former Senator Afrasiab Khattak said that state of Pakistan will become stronger if all languages are recognised. He said all parties should work together to get equal status for languages. This session was dedicated to Fakhrudin G Ebrahim and renowned writer and educationist Zubeida Mustafa paid tribute to late Fakhrudin G Ebrahim. Session was moderated by Zafarullah Khan.
Other important sessions of the day included situation of mother languages based education in provinces. Renowned educationist Dr Tariq Rehman spoke about techniques through which mother languages based education can be taught effectively. In other sessions over 30 books of different mother languages were launched. A session was also held on how to counter fake news. Situation of theatre was also discussed in a session.
A poetry seasion Mushara and a trilingual play RANJHA followed by Sufi singer Sain Zahoor performanc