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Senate body for preserving national heritage and culture.

Islamabad -- Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas Thursday stressed for promoting the country's regional languages to preserve its national heritage and culture.

While chairing the committee meeting, Senator Usman Kakar emphasized to ensure the protection of country's regional languages which were near to extinction.

Around five thousand languages were being spoken across the globe, the committee chairman said while underscoring the need to take special measures to rejuvenate the local identity.

Secretary National History and Literary Heritage Divison, Aamir Hasan apprised the meeting that the National Language Promotion Department (NLPD) was set up on October 4, 1979 to promote urdu as the national language by strengthening cooperation among academic, research and educational institutions.

The prime objective of the department was to facilitate the government in order to use Urdu for official communication among the state's institutions, he added.

At that time, Aamir said, it was decided to make the language (Urdu) an official one instead of English within the period of 15 years but, unfortunately the initiative could not see the day of light, he regretted.

NLP Director General Iftikhar Arif informed the meeting that around 700 books on different topics in Urdu had been published so far, besides translating seven thousand pages of different documents.

Books had also been published in the national language for 40 universities across the country, he said and added that 100 books of science also translated into it.

To this, Senator Usman said the department should play its due role to bridge a gap between the locals belonging to different religions, cast and races.

He underscored the need to take steps for the promotion of country's widely spoken languages like Pashto,Punjabi, Sindhi, Saraiki and Brahui.

He recommended to constitute a committee to translate the work of country's scholars, authors and intellectuals in such languages.

The chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) told the Senate body that the government was providing sufficient funds for the promotion of different languages.

The PAL had translated all the books of Allama Iqbal into Urdu and stipend was also being provided to the poets and authors belonging to major languages, he added.

He said PAL was established in 1976 with an aim to promote the literature of authors and scholars.

He said the academy was also being publishing a news letter regularly and also had organized fifteen national and international conferences for the promotion of literature.

The exhibitions were being organized annually and 20 intellectuals were also awarded prize money of Rs 200,000 each, he added.

The chairman said one million rupee prize money had also been given to the renowned poets while budget of Rs 10 million had been specified for that purpose.

To this, Usman Kakar said Rs 20 million budget should be allocated in that regard and the country's authors, poets and intellectuals should be given free accommodation along with health care facilities.

Senator Kalsoom Parven said a foundation should be established for the welfare of artists, intellectuals authors and poets.

The meeting was also attended by Senators Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Gyan Chand among other senior officials of the ministry of National History and Literary Heritage.
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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Date:Jun 14, 2019
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