International Mother Language Day marked in KP

By Bureau report
February 22, 2024

PESHAWAR: A number of activities were arranged in the provincial metropolis and elsewhere in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to mark the International Mother Language Day wherein importance of education in mother tongue and promotion of vernacular languages were stressed.

UoP building can be seen in this picture released on September 22, 2022. — Facebook/University of Peshawar

A function to this effect was organised at the Pashto Academy of the University of Peshawar where known literati Prof Dr Gulzar Jalal of Edwardes College and Dr Danish Ahmad of the Department of Gender Studies delivered lectures about promotion of Pashto language.

The speakers highlighted the importance of Mother Tongues Day. They said that every born individual in any part of the globe has the right to know, understand and get education in the language that his mother speaks.

They said that it was unfortunate that the Pakhuns are unable to read and write their mother tongue even if they are highly educated. The reason was that their mother tongue was not the medium of instruction in their educational institutions.

They informed that a former government made some efforts to make Pashtu as a compulsory subject until primary and middle level of education. But the decision could not be implemented so far, they said.

They stressed the need for special measures on part of the government and in private capacity to promote Pashtu language and literature.

The Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) also organized a series of events across various cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to commemorate the day.

PKMAP KP President Dr Mohammad Ali emphasized the critical link between national progress and education in mother languages, lamenting the neglect by the government that has led many languages to the brink of extinction.

Dr Mohammad Ali proposed the formation of district-level committees to monitor the teaching of Pashto and other mother languages in KP schools, ensuring their effective preservation and promotion.

Senior Deputy Chairman Arshad Khan advocated for the official recognition of Pashto as the language of instruction in educational institutions, courts, and government offices throughout KP, asserting its significance as the mother tongue of the region.

Gul Marjan, PkMAP, President for Peshawar, highlighted consumer rights, demanding that medicine and food companies provide product details in Pashto to better serve local consumers in accordance with international standards.

CHITRAL: The District Youth Office in Lower Chitral, in collaboration with the local administration, organised a function to mark International Mother Language Day on Wednesday.

People from various walks of life, including writers, poets, professors, researchers, political leaders, and notably, youth and women, attended the event.On the occasion, Lower Chitral Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Imran emphasised the significance of mother languages in people’s lives.

“Mother tongue serves as a powerful medium for expressing emotions and is a reflection of cultural heritage. For many, their mother tongue is an integral part of their identity, which they are proud of,” he added.

Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Imran Khan and District Youth Officer Sardar Ali Wazir were the chief guests at the event.At the end of the programme, participants staged a walk to underscore the importance and promotion of mother languages.

WANA: An event was organized by the Pashto Adabi Tollana in Wana Bazaar, Lower South Waziristan district on Wednesday, to celebrate the International Mother Language Day.A walk was also organised in Wana Bazaar, and various political and social personalities participated in it.

President Amin Jan of Pashto Adabi Tollana recited a poem in Pashto:“Pakhtana ba da Pakhtu Pa Khowago Poi Shi, Ka Pakhtu Zhaba Pa Zhaba Ahawala Amma.” (Translation: Pashtuns will truly enjoy the Pashto language when Pashto becomes prevalent in our conversations.)

Poet and RJ Raheel stated that, like many parts of the country, they celebrated Pashto as a mother tongue with fervor, emphasising that the purpose of the celebration was to promote their regional language.

Baitullah Bait, a founder member of Wana Pashto Adabi Karwan, pointed out that countries worldwide that prioritised their native languages had achieved peace, prosperity, and development.