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October 14, 2020

PAL chairman wants all languages of Pakistan promoted

Peshawar

October 14, 2020

PESHAWAR: Hailing all the Pakistani languages as a source of identity of speakers, the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Chairman Dr Yousuf Khushk called for their promotion without any discrimination.

He said this during a visit to the Gandhara Hindko Academy in the University Town run by the Gandhara Hindko Board in partnership with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. The PAL chairman, a scholar from the Sindh province, was in Peshawar on a daylong trip during which he met the literati and researchers from various languages. He went to the Gandhara Hindko Academy where he received a briefing on the working of the research body launched in 2015. Hindko Academy Director Prof Dr Muhammad Adil, board’s Senior Vice-Chairman Professor Dr Adnan Gul, Vice-Chairman Syed Kamran Shah, General Secretary Muhammad Ziauddin, Joint Secretary Ahmad Nadeem Awan, Sikandar Hayat and were present. Ziauddin told the PAL chairman that established in 1993, the Gandhara Hindko Board works for the promotion of Hindko and other sister languages.

He said a former chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi, who has earned wide respect for his long public service, heads the board as chairman. The Hindko language scholar, with specialization in documentation and research, informed Dr Yousuf Khushk that the Hindko Academy was working not only for the promotion of Hindko but also other Pakistani languages such as Urdu, Pashto, Sindhi, Punjabi, Saraiki, Pothowari, Balochi, Brahvi, etc. Ziauddin, who is the chief of the Executive Committee, the body which plans and executes all the activities, said the board and the academy had jointly arranged seven international, eight KP level conferences and published 450 books and publications so far. He said the academy was also funding the literary and cultural journals of other languages in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These journals included Gomal Rang (Saraiki), Watan (Kohistani) and Khowar Nama (Chitrali) along with Hindko language cultural magazines Sargi Da Tara (Hazara) and Kotal Rang (Kohat). Hindko Academy Director Prof Dr Muhammad Adil held out a briefing on the Hindko dictionary, proverbs and children stories android apps. He mentioned documentaries prepared by the academy on various topics.

The PAL chairman was appreciative of the work and achievements of the Hindko Academy in the five years-time. He termed the research organization a role model for others to follow and said its work needed to be highlighted at the international level. Dr Yousuf Khushk said he was happy to learn that the Hindko Academy and the board were working for promotion of other languages as well which, he hoped, would strengthen the national unity. He praised the academy for reprinting the rare books of history and archaeology by late archaeologist Sardar Muhammad Jaffar which had gone out of print with time. The PAL chairman lamented that 21 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa languages were in the danger zone. He said special efforts and a renewed spirit were needed to protect them from extinction.

He extended all support to the Hindko Academy and suggested that the research body should be provided with its own building and strengthened with more resources. Later, the PAL chairman had a round of various sections of the Hindko Academy, including Dr Elahi Bakhsh Awan Library and Dr Zahoor Ahmad Awan Conference Room. He evinced a keen interest in the books. He was gifted a bouquet and set of academy publications.