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Experts declare Brahui language of Balochistan as one of the ancient languages of the world.

ISLAMABAD -- Leading international and national linguists and experts have declared Brahui Language of Balochistan is one of the ancient languages of the world.

Terming it as mother language of 7000 years old Dravidian Languages of Indus civilization, the researcher scholars emphasized on further research on the origin of Brahui language which according to them would help in resolving the question of the languages of Mohen Jo Daro, Harapa and Mehrgarah civilizations.

This was declared in the two days "International Conference on Brahui Language and Culture" in the main auditorium of Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad on Sunday.

The conference was organized by Brahui Academy Pakistan with the support of Allama Iqbal Open University, Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI) as Sughar Empowerment Society (SES). A number of research scholars from USA, Spain, Germany, Iraq, Mexico and other countries of the world and renowned research scholars and linguists of Pakistan presented their papers in the conference.

While speaking in the inaugural session of the conference as chief Guest Nawabzada Haji Lashkari Khan Raisani said that United Nations especially UNESCO should take steps for the uplifting of the neglected indigenous languages of Pakistan including Brahui language.

He said that the indigenous languages of Pakistan including Brahui languages are lacking behind due to the government level policy of encouraging Education in only Urdu and English languages. Dr. Prof. Shahid Siddiqui Vice Chancellor Allama Iqbal Open University said that all the languages and cultures of Pakistan are part and parcel of Pakistani culture and they should be promoted to further strengthening unity and peace in the country. He said that the language is a strong tool of imperialism on the one hand and also strong tool of resistance and movements on the other hand and we should learn lesson from Bangladesh episode and should respect and give proper and equal rights to all the languages and cultures of Pakistan.

He said that he was happy that his university is the part of this international conference on Brahui language, one of the ancient languages of world and mother language of Indus civilization. He said that it is important to keep all the languages alive because with the death of one language, culture, history related to that language also die.

Leading Linguist from USA Dr. Elena Bashir, while reading his paper on Brahui language, said that Brahui language has strong connections with other Dravidian languages.

She said that due to hegemony of one language the small languages usually become weaker and die. Therefore, it is time that the speakers of all the indigenous languages including Brahui should ensure that their language is in use, especially their children must talk in their mother languages in their homes. She emphasized on documenting the language and its worlds also emphased on the use of internet and other modern methods of documenting and protecting the material related to the languages. Leading Pakistani linguist Dr. Tariq Rahman while presenting his paper said that Brahui has been part of the markers of ethnic identity in Balochistan. Despite the fact that jobs are not available in it, language activists have kept up production of material in it.

However, government policies have not encouraged education and printing in it. He said that The Balochistan Mother Tongue use Bill was passed in 1990. Mother tongues were compulsory up to class3.On 8 November 1992 the PML government made them optional as a result the education in mother tongues including Brahui could not flourish in Balochistan.

Leading linguist Dr. Joan LG Baart presented his paper through video conferencing from Germany on measuring and promoting language vitality. He described different phases of the travel of any langue towards endangerment and emphasized on the use of modern technology for the revival, promotion and documentation of the indigenous languages.

The speakers lamented that the Federal Government as well as the provincial government of Balochistan are ignoring indigenous and ancient Brahui language which is creating a sense of deprivation among Brahui speaking people of Balochistan. They said that there was a separate column for Brahui language in the census forms since the first census held in this region in 1901 during the colonial era and this practice continued till the census of 1981, however during the census of 1997, the government removed the column of Brahui from the census form. This was done only to compel Brahui speaking people to write other language than Brahui in their column of language and to also show drastically reduced number of Brahui speakers in Balochistan.

They said that Brahui language was also not include in the competitive CSS examinations, while all other languages of Pakistan are included in these examinations. Similarly, all other major languages of Pakistan are taught in almost all major universities of Pakistan at M.A level while Brahui is only taught in Balochistan University.

The other researchers who presented their paper included Dr. Abdullah Jan Head of the Department of Pakistani Languages, AIOU, Prof. Sosan Brahui, Prof. KhudaeDad Gul, Abdul Qayum Bedar , Dr. Hakim Ali Burero, Dr. Abdul Wajid Tabasum, Professor Dr. Liaquat Sani, Professor Dr. Mohammed Ashraf, Mir Ahmed Bux Lahri Member Federal Public Service Commission, Noor Ahmed Pirkani DG Quetta Development Authority, Nazeer Shakir Brahui, Sultan Ahmed Shahwani, Dr. Zia ur Rahman Baloch, Dr. Abdul Wajid Tabasum and others and others.

The foreign scholars who could not travel to Pakistan and sent their papers for presentation included Dr. Jaroslave. Vacek Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, Dr. Vikalp Kumar, Dr. Anand M Sharan, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, Prof. Uma Maheshwar Rao Garapati and others. Their papers on Brahui language, its history and origins were presented in the conference.
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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jan 19, 2015
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