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Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan here Monday issued notices to the federal and the Punjab governments for not implementing its judgments for adopting Urdu as official and Punjabi as regional language, respectively.

A three-judge bench, headed by Acting Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday heard the contempt petition for not adopting Urdu as an official language.

Advocate Kokab Iqbal had filed contempt petition for not complying with the SC judgment on Urdu language, while the petition of Dr Sami, a private citizen, is regarding not implementing the judgment on Punjabi language.

The bench noted that the federal government has failed to implement the apex court judgment on Urdu, while the Punjab government was issued notice for not complying with the judgment on Punjabi language.

Justice Bandial said; “Without mother and national languages we shall lose our identity. In my opinion, like our forefathers, we all should also learn Arabic and Persian.”

He further said Article 251 of Constitution also talks about mother language along with the national language.

The case was adjourned for one month.

The Supreme Court, in September 2015 had directed the federal government departments to translate their policies and rules in Urdu language within three months.

It said the forms relating to all the government and semi-government institutions will be in Urdu and at key public places such as courts, police stations, hospitals, parks, educational institutions, and banks, the information signs will be in Urdu besides the English language.

Likewise, contents of utility bills, passports, driving licences and various documents of the Auditor General’s office, Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue, and the Election Commission of Pakistan would also be in the national language.

“In the governance of the federation and the provinces there is hardly any necessity for the use of the colonial language, which cannot be understood by the public at large.” Even for many civil servants and public officials, who may have received education in English, this language would in most cases, not be the language most used by them, stated the SC’s judgment.

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