Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed has questioned Pakistan’s decision to adopt Urdu as its national language in a country where majority of people speak Punjabi.
Addressing his supporters on Saturday, Saeed said he felt the government did not adopt Punjabi in 1947 because the written text is in Gurmukhi language and that would have questioned the two-nation theory on which Pakistan was created.
Saeed, whose base is in South Punjab, is pushing for a review of Urdu as the official language.
The JuD leader is pushing for Punjabi to be the main language of Pakistan. Punjabi is also the main language for the JuD and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) recruits and there are frequent anti-urdu protests by the cadres of the Punjab based hardline groups.
Saeed also cited the fact that Punjabi is the main language of the Pakistan Army and that in itself is reason to review the language situation as a mark of respect to the armed forces.
Saeed mentioned that though he personally is not a Punjabi speaker, the fact remains that Pakistan’s larger interests are more important.
There has been no word from Pakistan government after Saeed made the comments.
The creation of Pakistan was based on religion rather than their language and ethnicity. The two-nation theory was the founding principle of the movement to create a separate country for Muslims.
44% people in Pakistan speak Punjabi where as Pashto and Sindhi are spoken by an estimated 15 and 12% of its population.
Only 8% of Pakistanis speak Urdu whereas 3.6% speak Balochi.