LAHORE: Opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mahmoodur Rashid has said that his party will try to motivate the provincial government and the ruling party legislators to introduce a bill in the assembly to declare education of Punjabi language compulsory from primary level to secondary level.
He pledged that if treasury benches’ legislators would not cooperate in this regard, the combined opposition in the Punjab Assembly would bring in a resolution in the House to declare Punjabi language a compulsory subject.
While addressing the gathering at a Punjabi language rally on the eve on International Mother Tongue Day, he said that mother tongue was being given preference everywhere in the world, but it was unfortunate that Punjabi, which is the language of more than 62 percent of the population of the country, had been ignored by all previous regimes.
A large number of Punjabi-speaking inhabitants, including civil rights organisations, students, lawyers, teachers, literary bodies, poets, intellectuals, writers and common men participated in the rally. It must be noted here that it was the first-ever massive gathering of more than 500 people, in which 25 Punjabi language organisations actively took part. The congregation was organised under the banner of Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board. The participants enthusiastically remained busy sloganeering during the rally in favour of Punjabi language. They were demanding implementation of the charter of demands presented by Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board vide a memorandum.
According to the charter of demands presented by the Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board, activists asked the government to declare Punjabi language a compulsory subject from grade 1 at schools, like other provinces of the country had declared their mother languages, where the native language was being taught from the primary class.
The Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board through the second demand asked the Punjab government to make appointments of Punjabi language teachers at primary and high schools. In the third demand, it was stressed that appointments on vacant posts of Punjabi language teachers in colleges must immediately be made, and Punjabi language be given special attention. They further demanded that the constitution of Pakistan as well as international human rights manifesto had admitted that every child had the right to get education in his mother tongue, and this right must also be given to Punjabi children. As many as 25 organisations attended the rally, including Coca Cola Beverage Employees Union (CBA), Railway Workers Union (Open Line), Punjabi Majlis GCH Lahore, Hijr Faqir Punjabi Literary Sabghat, Kangan International Kangon Pur, Punjabi Sanghat, Khojh Garh Laliyani, Sanjh Lok Raj Pakpattan, IPSS, PUJ, SAFMA, SAP, NSF, Anjuman Taraqi Pasand Musanfin, School Volunteer Club Sargodha, Majlis Mian Muhammad Bukhsh Sargodha, Punjab Lok Sujag Lahore, Masood Khadar Posh Trust Lahore, Wajdan Nankana Sahib and Rational Club Gujranwala.
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