Wed. Sep 23rd, 2020

Directions given for the implementation of Urdu as the official language of Pakistan

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Supreme Court of Pakistan: Deciding upon the present Constitution petition concerning the issue
of implementation of Article 251 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of
Pakistan which mandates the State to adopt Urdu as the official language of the
country, the three judge bench of Jawwad S. Khawaja, C.J., Dost Mohd. Khan
and Qazi Faez Isa, JJ., directed the Federal and Provincial Governments, and the
statutory, regulatory and oversight bodies to implement the mandate of Article
251 without further delay and take steps to translate the Federal and
Provincial laws in Urdu. The Court further directed that the judgments of
public interest litigation’s and judgments enunciating a principle of law must
be translated in Urdu. Citizens suffering due to the violation of the mandate
of Article 251 shall be entitled to enforce their civil rights which may accrue
to them on the account of the violation

In the present case, the petitioner Kowkab Iqbal, (appearing
in person) argued that the mandate of Article 251 should have been implemented
within 15 years from the date of coming into the effect of the Constitution,
however there has been intentional delay from the side of the authorities, thus
creating a societal and linguistic divide in the country.

The Court, reprimanding the Government for failing to
introduce Urdu as the official language despite the existence of a
Constitutional mandate under Article 251 and several rulings of the Court on
this point, observed that implementation of Article 251 has a practical
implication for the Pakistani public, as in the governance of the country, use
of English is hardly necessary as majority of the public are not familiar with
it. The Court further clarified that the present decision does not aim to
belittle English language, for it is the language of international trade and
commerce. [Mohd. Kowkab Iqbal v. Govt. of Pakistan, decided on 08-09-2015]
Source: Legal news India

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