PESHAWAR: Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan has said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is not interested in promoting regional languages.
Through a statement issued here in connection with the International Mother Language Day (February 21), he said scholars were unanimous on the importance of mother tongue for learning and schooling of children.
He said mother languages were the foundations for civilisations and a linkage between people with their cultures. The developed world excelled in science and technology through imparting education to children in mother tongues, he pointed out. The ANP chief said the observing mother tongue day was a good step but nations must move ahead and it should be converted into a movement.
Recalling the ANP government efforts for promotion of native languages, Asfandyar said the objective of establishment of Regional Languages Authority was the protection of all languages spoken in the province.
The ANP chief asked the provincial government to make the authority more functional. He believed that the incumbent PTI government was not interested in promoting regional languages. He said the ANP-led government had declared teaching of Pashto, Hindko, Seraiki, Khowar and Kohistani languages compulsory but a specific mindset later conspired against the project.
Denying due status to the Bengali language led to the disintegration of Pakistan, Asfandyar said and suggested an alliance for promotion and protection of regional languages. He exhorted the literary organisations to come forward and play an effective role in the promotion of regional languages.
The ANP chief said that Pashto was the second largest spoken language in Pakistan and international broadcasting agencies were airing programmes in Pashto. He said that Pakhtun literati and intellectuals should play a major role in addressing the problems being faced by the Pakhtuns.