“The constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2016” seeking to give national status to Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto and Balochi, as national languages along with Urdu.

“The constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2016” seeking to give national status to Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto and Balochi, as national languages along with Urdu.
“The constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2016” seeking to give national status to Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto and Balochi, as national languages along with Urdu.

ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice on Wednesday passed “The constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2016” seeking to give national status to Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, and Balochi, as national languages along with Urdu.

Senator Javed Abbasi chaired the body meeting.

The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 moved by Senators Sassui Palijo and Mukhtiar Dhamrah with certain amendments after seeking input from different stakeholders including intellectuals and writers of different languages. The amendment was proposed in clause (1) of Article 251 of the constitution to declare Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, and Balochi, as national languages along with Urdu.

According to the bill, in the constitution of Pakistan for article 251, the following shall be substituted namely: “251 national languages 1) the national languages of Pakistan are Urdu and the languages of federating units, namely, Balochi, Pashto, Punjabi and Sindhi, 2) the official language of Pakistan shall be English until arrangements are made for Urdu to come at par with it, 3) the federal government shall establish a fund for the development and promotion of national languages and 4) provincial government may be law prescribe measure for the teaching and promotion of any language in addition to the national languages”.

According to the statement of objects and reasons since Balochi, Pashto, Punjabi, and Sindhi languages of federating units, had not been given their due status in the constitution of Pakistan and a number of movements were going on in the country demanding grant of national status to these languages, therefore it had become imperative to given those languages the status of national languages of Pakistan.

Senators Aitzaz Ahsan, Saleem Zia, Muzafar Hussain, Nehal Hashmi, Saifullah Magsi, Saeed Ghani, Zahida Khan, Farooq Naek, Azam Swati, Sassui Palijo, Mukhtiar Dhamrah, Karim Khawaja, Azam Musakhel, Taj Afridi, Ahmad Hassan, and Rehman Malik attended the meeting.