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Tuesday April 23, 2024
Zubair Torwali
Zubair Torwali

  • February 28, 2024

    Language of war and peace

    A language is not just a collection of phonetics, phonology, words, syntax and grammar

  • February 19, 2024

    Why did ANP lose popularity?

    Though many people didn't expect ANP to be a major victor in province they did not anticipate ANP losing elections with such a high margin

  • November 18, 2023

    How a language dies

    Representational image. — UnsplashA language dies when nobody speaks it anymore. Why a language dies is a pertinent question asked by linguists...

  • July 14, 2023

    How to respect the mountains

    As temperatures in the densely populated urban cities increase, many people from these areas wish to spend a few days away from the hustle and...

  • June 16, 2023

    Whose language is it anyway?

    Recently, a person from the village that one of the writers of this piece comes from approached him about applying to the Prime Minister’s Youth...

  • April 04, 2023

    The downside of unplanned tourism

    In the Dardic Belt and Gujari areas of Swat, people did not have access to modernity and modernization some 50 or 60 years ago.The area was closed...

  • February 14, 2023

    What endangers a language?

    Students of the Institute of Management Sciences, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa organized a two-day literary and academic event called Peshawar Literary...

  • January 21, 2023

    Travesty of justice

    The traditional council, or ‘jirga’, is known by different names in different languages in Pakistan – ‘faislo’ in Sindh and...

  • January 14, 2023

    How to ignore a language

    Form No 2 of the upcoming Digital Census 2023 includes basic questions about gender, age, religion, marital life, nationality and ‘mother...

  • January 02, 2023

    Honour in Ghairatabad

    Get together a group of young girls and boys, sit with them, and shed your cloak of narcissism for a while. Establish a long association with them,...

  • August 20, 2022

    The pain of Dardistan

    Being on the periphery, these communities are marginalized, left behind and forgotten

  • September 24, 2021

    Is Urdu our ‘second mother tongue’?

    On September 5, 2021, an article titled ‘Language beyond Politics’ written by an experienced teacher Syed Nomanul Haq appeared in Dawn. Though...

  • July 01, 2021

    Kumrat valley: the looming crisis

    The eastern one comprises the upper Swat valley – from Pia Madyan to Ghizer pass via Bahrain, Kalam, Utror and Mahodand.

  • November 30, 2020

    Language and the written word

    Speech predates writing. Oral language is the essential language. Technically, the writing of a language is just a graphic representation of said...

  • October 20, 2020

    SNC and languages

    Since the Single National Curriculum was made public by the incumbent government a rigorous debate has emerged, involving prominent experts in...

  • April 30, 2020

    Education and a pandemic

    The writer heads an independent organisation dealing with education and development in Swat.When a pandemic, conflict or natural disaster happens,...

  • March 06, 2020

    Campaigning for languages

    Pakistan is often seen as, and rightly so, a hard country for campaigns. Campaigns, whether on human rights, education, civil liberty,...

  • June 29, 2019

    ‘Kafiristan’: identity and ethnicity

    An Italian researcher and scholar has deconstructed the myths around the Kalasha community living in the Kalash valley for centuries.In his work, he...

  • February 21, 2019

    Revitalising endangered languages

    Efforts towards revitalising endangered languages have gained global significance. There are now hundreds of endangered languages. Though languages...

  • December 09, 2018

    The bane of development

    In our collective and individual mindset, there still exists a colonial legacy that manifests itself well in various situations – from a classroom...

  • November 30, 2018

    Girls in the classroom

    The PTI government has thankfully completed its first 100 days in office amid the commotion of lofty claims, the search for a way out of the woods,...

  • July 15, 2018

    Support the girls

    When we look at the stark gender disparity in our cultural milieu, a number of barriers to girls’ education visibly stand out. Most of these...

  • July 02, 2018

    Three districts, two schools

    Kohistan, the land of mountains, is a congregation of valleys surrounded and hidden by rugged mountains along River Indus from its big bend in...

  • April 25, 2018

    Kohistan: the sealed valley

    “Owing to the depth and extreme narrowness of the valley in which the Indus has cut its bed through the mountains, it was not possible from our...

  • March 12, 2018

    Languages: mine and ours

    Diversity is a complex phenomenon and the term itself connotes many things. It could be either perceptive or objective. Although it appears to have...

  • February 23, 2018

    The lure of linguicism

    The term ‘linguicism’ was coined in the 1980s by Finnish linguist and educator Tove Skutnabb-Kangas. She defined linguicism as the “ideologies...

  • February 07, 2018

    A time for empathy

    Looking for conspiracies and foreign hands in almost every social or political act has become a norm in Pakistan. Facts are only facts when they get...

  • December 16, 2017

    The model of ‘new localism’

    When passing through a village a few kilometres below the famous Shandur Pass in Chitral, I saw a brownish two-storeyed building standing in the...

  • October 26, 2017

    A new district in Swat

    The Swat Valley in northern Pakistan is usually referred to as the Switzerland of Asia but a learned friend, who paid a visit to Swat recently, put...

  • October 01, 2017

    Preserving language

    The government of Gilgit-Baltistan has been trying to chalk out a mechanism for the preservation and promotion of the languages spoken in the...

  • August 22, 2017

    CPEC in Gilgit-Baltistan

    Passu is a beautiful village about 150 kilometres on the Karakorum Highway from the town of Gilgit. It is at the mouth of the 57 kilometre-long...

  • February 22, 2017

    The language of identity

    “One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language.” —Emil Cioran A day before the International Mother Language Day on...

  • January 11, 2017

    Counting the ‘others’

    Ours has unfortunately become a terribly exclusionist society. But it is extremely abhorrent when the state applies this doctrine either out of...

  • January 04, 2017

    Police, politics and the public

    A couple of smart cops greeted me and led me to a big room with multiple screens on the wall inside a Victorian gothic style building – the...

  • December 02, 2016

    Winter fuel

    According to a recent report by the United Nations Development Program, Pakistan has 5.36 percent forest cover of its total land mass. This is the...

  • November 24, 2016

    The language of education

    In his recent book, ‘Education Policies in Pakistan’, Shahid Siddiqui states that the major challenge before policymakers in Pakistan...

  • November 11, 2016

    Mainstreaming the peripheral

    The peripheries in Pakistan do not get their due share of attention, national activity or social development. Of course, some mega development...

  • August 20, 2016

    The Kalam festival

    Few in Pakistan are unaware of the beauty and bounty of Swat and its idyllic heavens like Kalam. Kalam is a name in Gawri, the native language of...

  • July 22, 2016

    Splitting Swat

    The writer heads an independent organisation dealing with education and development in Swat. It is hard to estimate the population of a country...

  • May 17, 2016

    Let the girls learn

    Shahbaz Shaheen’s daughter, Fatima, asked him: “Papa, where do I go to continue my education, as I have now passed my 5th grade...

  • March 05, 2016

    Forum for language

    When we look at the cultural diversity of Pakistan we see a beautiful bouquet of diverse cultures and languages, embedded in the rich history of the...

  • February 20, 2016

    Writing a dying language

    A cursory look at the development of the writing system shows that human beings are, by nature, fond of leaving their footprints in history. They...

  • December 17, 2015

    Down with Malala?

    Zubair Torwali It was a young crowd, in the thousands. These college students were thrilled at each song the organisers played. Their happiness...

  • December 17, 2015

    LCCI pays rich tributes to APS martyrs

    By our correspondent LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday paid rich tributes and expressed solidarity with the martyrs...

  • November 12, 2015

    A neglected emblem of knowledge

    Swat is wonderfully diverse in its culture as well as landscape as it has been a significant part of ancient civilisations such as the Gandhara and...

  • October 09, 2015

    Urdu: from pidgin to creole

    “Punjabi families no longer speak Punjabi with their children”. This generalisation we usually hear whenever we talk about the long-standing...

  • July 28, 2015

    Saving local languages

    The cabinet division recently issued a letter to other federal departments directing them to use Urdu in their public and official correspondence....

  • May 05, 2015

    Education in Swat-Kohistan

    For the last four months I have been closely engaged with the communities living in faraway villages over the hills of Swat-Kohistan on a campaign...

  • April 23, 2015

    Monitoring education

    The authorities were unable to initiate an effective action plan against the cases reported, says a report of the Independent Monitoring Unit in...

  • January 27, 2015

    Road to Kalam

    For the last six years I have been consistently, but vainly, highlighting the plight of the locals of the tourist heaven, Kalam and its valleys. But...