Thursday, September 10, 2015

Music Video - Runa Laila - Mera Babu Chail Chabila

Pakistan - Attention Diverter: Urdu as Official Language

Raza Baloch
History of Urdu language, began to take shape during the Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526 AD) but it was made functional during the Mughal period (1526- 1858).
Urdu as an official language has already faced many controversies since the 19th century such as Hindi-Urdu dispute. Pakistan since its genesis was confronted with many challenges; Massacre of Muslim Refugees in India, Boundary Distribution, Canal Water Dispute, Constitutional Problem and Annexation of Princely States.  Hence, Pakistan faced many obstacles to be recognized as a full-fledge state.
Hereafter, Pakistan faced the challenge of a single national language for the newly established setup as Pakistan formed a multi-linguistic nation sharing same religion with people having different cultural backgrounds.
As compared to Pakistan, India adopted Hindi and English as the official language in 1950. In India, states have also been given the liberty and powers to specify their own official language(s) through legislation and therefore there are more than 22 officially recognized languages in India.
After the partition, first constitution of Pakistan came into force on 23rd March 1956 after 9 year of her existence. As like other problems faced by Pakistan, the issue of a signal national language lingered as an unsolved issue. Meanwhile, India adopted Hindi as the official language in 1950, Pakistan in the 1956 Constitution prescribed the use of English for official purposes for 20 years, and the 1962 Constitution made the period indefinite. Moreover, the 1973 Constitution designated a 15-year transition period to the Urdu language, after which English would no longer be used for official purposes.
The Supreme Court verdict of 7th September 2015 is enforcement of Article 251 of 1973 constitution.
Although Urdu is endorsed by Supreme Court as an official national language but it still faces many challenges. All text books, laws and penal codes, medical work, research papers, literary works at offices, record books and gazetteers are in English language. Therefore, all state documents need to be translated into Urdu. It may take a decade to accomplish all these works which may push Pakistan far behind in the race of development.
Pakistan is already facing ample challenges and threats such as poverty, lawlessness, bad governance, corruption, terrorism, extremism, energy crises, brain-drain, less foreign direct investment, natural calamity and water issues. Rather than settling these issues, opening new fronts for domestic backlash can drive Pakistan backward.
Sense of deprivation, among smaller provinces robustly prevails. Regional languages are not being encouraged as a provincial official language and considering Urdu as a national official language is tantamount to superseding regional ethnic languages. Before the separation of East Pakistan, Bengali was the single largest language of Pakistan but it was not given status of sole national language.
Pakistan not only needs to confront global challenges but also needs to focus on genuine social issues which are major hurdles in the development of a prosperous Pakistan. Thus, Urdu as a national language is not a bad idea but considering the best interests of provinces and promoting the mutual cooperation among provinces it is the need of hour to provide space to regional languages as well.

Pakistan - Madressah finances

THE words sound serious, but we’ll have to wait to see if the action that follows is too.
Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan upped the ante somewhat when he said recently that the finances of religious seminaries must be scrutinised, and the latter will have to be encouraged to use registered bank accounts to transact and make payments.
Although the State Bank claims there is no policy barring madressahs from opening bank accounts, the reality is that many of them continue to use the personal accounts of their staff to carry on their financial affairs.
This practice conceals the source of funding, as well as the identities of the parties with whom they are transacting, opening the door to abuses that might even dovetail with extremist activity in some cases.
If the minister is able to get madressahs to start using their own bank accounts, it will be a positive step towards bringing some transparency into their affairs.
But the job is likely to prove harder than what the minister imagines. Simple jobs regarding the madressahs have taken far more effort than the state imagined.
Take as an example the relatively straightforward task of counting the number of madressahs in each province, and then geo-tagging them so as to have a map showing locations and other details of each of them.
Punjab had a very difficult time obtaining an exact count of the number of madressahs operating within the province, and more recently Sindh has concluded an exercise in geo-tagging them. Through that exercise it has been learnt that almost one-third of all seminaries in the province are unregistered.
This is a large number and getting them to first register themselves with the state, then compelling them to open bank accounts in their own name and using only these accounts to carry on their financial affairs will take a great deal of focused effort and coordination.
The exercise must be carried out though because transparency in sources of funding for religious seminaries is required, and this cannot happen so long as their dealings are either done in cash or through accounts opened in the names of their staff members.
One only hopes that the minister has thought his statement through and intends to follow up on it with energy, because the wider goal of uprooting extremist narratives and hate-filled ideologies cannot be fulfilled without plugging this vital gap.

Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto strongly condemned the attacks on media and killing of journalists in Karachi

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party has strongly condemned the attacks on media and killing of two journalists in Karachi. Senior Journalist Aftab Alam and senior satellite engineer of TV channel Arshad Ali Jafferry gunned down in these attacks.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also urged the government of Sindh for the immediate arrest of culprits, involved in these terrorist attacks

PPP chairman sympathized and condoled with the members of bereaved families and prayed to Almighty Allah to rest their departed souls in eternal peace and grant courage and fortitude to their family members to bear this loss for equanimity.

We will take PPP to new heights by organising it in each town and village: Bilawal Bhutto

Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has spent a busy day on Wednesday 09 September 2015 at Bilawal House, Lahore, and held a series of meetings with the notables, sitting and former MNAs and MPAs from south Punjab.

While addressing the participants, Bilawal Bhutto said he would start holding public meetings after Eidul Azha. “We all will fight together and overcome the party issues. We will take the PPP to new heights by organising it in each town and village,” the chairman vowed and said the first public meeting will be held in Rahim Yar Khan.

When retired Maj Imtiaz, who was with Benazir Bhutto in the vehicle at the time of attack in Rawalpindi (in 2007), was asked to speak in the meeting, he started crying and could not control his emotions. Bilawal Bhutto went to his seat and hugged him.

Faryal Talpur, Bakhtawar Zardari, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Sherry Rehman, Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood, Shaukat Basra, Nadeem Afzal Chan, Hina Rabbani Khar, Haider Zaman Qureshi, Natasha Doultana, Mustafa Mahmood, Ghulam Rasool Koreja, Qazi Ahmed Saeed, Ali Akbar Mahmood, Raees Ibrahim Khalil, Khalida Mohsin, Ali Qureshi and Sardar Shahabuddin Khan were also present in the meeting.

Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf talked about the ‘media trial’ of the PPP leaders saying those raising slogans against corruption and implicating PPP leaders should better present themselves for accountability.

The former premier said that corruption cases against the PPP leaders had been pending for years. “Why they are not decided without delay,” he asked.

Mr Ashraf also recommended Bilawal Bhutto to set up an accountability commission in the party for internal accountability of the leaders. “Appoint some four to six people of integrity for investigation of the alleged corruption charges (on the party men),” he proposed.

Sherry Rehman said: “We never compromised on rights of people and fought against terrorism. Why is the PPP facing terror-finance cases? The PPP is a liberal party and will not leave its space among the masses,” she said.