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NWFP UET student murder case: IJT activists indicted

Nine IJT activists indicted for terrorism
Peshawar, Apr 12: Section-7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (7-ATA) has been included in the first information report (FIR) in the murder case of a student of the NWFP University of Engineering and Technology (NUET) allegedly at the hands of the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) activists, a source said.

The family and friends of Adnan Abdul Qadir, a final year student of the NUET who was killed during a clash between two student groups, had demanded inclusion of 7-ATA in the FIR lodged against nine IJT activists.

The authorities of the capital city police approved the demand after consulting legal experts. Hence, the concerned police station was directed to include the non-bailable section in the FIR against nine students.

One of them was arrested from Karak while the rest are still at large. "The authorities formally approved inclusion of the 7-ATA in the FIR lodged in the murder of Adnan Abdul Qadir and beating of his other friends. Now it has been formally incorporated," an officer of the capital city police confirmed.

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Sarhad University convocation
Islamabad: The NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani has said that private sector was playing vital role in sharing the burden of public sector universities and educating youth of the province in general and that of country in particular. According to a press release, the governor was addressing the 6th convocation of Sarhad University of Science & Information Technology Peshawar at Jinnah Convention Centre Islamabad Saturday evening. The governor appreciated the role of Sarhad University for providing quality education to the youth of NWFP. He said that he was associated with this university for quite a long time, when its idea was brought to him in early 90s. The news

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Muqtadira, Urdu and Pakistani languages
The National Language Authority (NLA), or Muqtadira Qaumi Zaban, was established in 1979 under Article 251 of the 1973 Constitution. The main objective was to pave the way for adoption of Urdu as official language of the country. No doubt that the Muqtadira ever since its inception has rendered invaluable services and there is a long list of its achievements of which the latest is the conversion of Microsoft Windows XP and Office to Urdu.

In my humble opinion, however, the greatest achievement of Muqtadira (as it has come to be called affectionately) is that it has done its homework quite efficiently and all its chairmen, right from the first one, Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi, to the present one, Iftikhar Arif, (with Aftab Hasan, Waheed Qureshi, Jameel Jalibi, Iftikhar Arif and Fateh Mohammad Malik taking over as chairman in between) worked really hard to enable Urdu to assume its rightful, legal and constitutional responsibility.

Urdu is ready to be adopted as official language - a status bestowed upon Urdu by the sacred document known as the Constitution - of Pakistan. Technically speaking, Urdu is quite capable of coping with the demands that the status of official language brings with it. The only thing that has been lacking is the political will and it has provided the English-loving bureaucracy with an opportunity to dilly-dallying.

Despite a constitutional umbrella, Urdu - poor Urdu, our beloved national language - is still standing (after 63 years of independence) at the main gates of Islamabad Secretariat and it cannot dare step in because our beloved bureaucracy won't allow it to do so. Though many have criticised Muqtadira for non-adoption of Urdu as official language but I feel this criticism is quite uncalled for and quite misplaced since Muqtadira has done its job: to prepare Urdu technically for the adoption as official language. And since Muqtadira has done it, there is no technical hitch in Urdu's adoption as official language.

The assumed and presumed inability of Urdu for official use has been addressed to by the Muqtadira after years of hard work. A large number of dictionaries, glossaries of official terminologies, books explaining ways of official correspondence in Urdu and other technical materials were readied years ago. The unwillingness of successive governments has been the greatest obstacle in allowing Urdu its rightful status that the Constitution has given it.

But we must salute Khyber Pakhtunkhwa legislators who have not only adopted Urdu as official language of the province a few years ago but have also allowed the use of Urdu as medium in the provincial government's competitive examinations for higher posts.

One fails to understand what stops bureaucracy from implementing something that has been guaranteed in the Constitution. I am sorry for the emotional rambling but I can't help it. These pent-up feelings have been gathering for years and the moment I hear the word 'Muqtadira' or 'Constitution' I can't help but think of Urdu and its adoption as official language. You may call it my emotionalism but then this is what a majority of Pakistanis think. Yes, the majority of Pakistanis that cannot understand English yet has to fill in almost all the forms in English. What a cruel joke!

What makes me praise Muqtadira all the more is that it has not sat idle even after completing the task assigned to it, notwithstanding the fact that no government has ever been willing to take advantage of the work it has done. All the successive heads of NLA have been engaged in preparing and publishing some real worthwhile material related to the national language. Another aspect that merits a mention is that Muqtadira is fully aware of the fact that other languages of Pakistan, for instance Sindhi, Balochi, Pashtu, Seraiki, Punjabi, Hindko, Kashmiri, Brahvi etc. (which were hitherto wrongly labeled as 'regional languages of Pakistan' but have now thoughtfully been recognised as 'Pakistani languages') play a vital role in strengthening the national unity which emerges from diversity. NLA's former chief Prof Fateh Mohammad Malik always stressed the close relationship of these languages with Urdu and worked to promote it. Now his successor Iftikhar Arif has come up with a series of books that briefly describe the history of these languages and their literatures.

The books published in the series titled 'Mukhtasar tareekh-i-zaban-o-adab' include 'Balochi' by Shah Mohammad Marri, 'Brahvi' by Afzal Murad 'Punjabi' by Hameedullah Hashmi, 'Pashtu' by Hanif Khalil, 'Seraiki' by Sajjad Hyder Pervez, 'Sindhi' by Syed Mazhar Jameel, and 'Gilgit Baltistan' by Mumtaz Manglori.

Highlighting the idea behind the series in the preface of these books, Iftikhar Arif says: "The history of Pakistani languages and their literatures is very old. Isn't it strange that we amply know the historical background of English and other foreign languages but we know very little about our own languages? Even the people of an area do not know as much about the languages of other areas as they should."

Elaborating the concept, he says: "We know that we can promote national solidarity by bringing Pakistani languages closer. Literature brings people together. It strengthens ties. That's the reason why we at Muqtadira decided that we ought to preserve the history of Pakistani languages in the national language, Urdu, so that the people who could not read the history in the original languages can have access to them. The objective of these brief literary pieces is to know the background of our literatures and to realise their richness."

To remove the false impression that Urdu is pitched against other languages of Pakistan or Urdu is promoted at their cost, publication of such books may certainly go a long way. -drraufparekh@yahoo.com (Dawn)

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