Imran Khan wants all his official engagements conducted in Urdu

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in a file photo. The ministers and the government officials have also been directed record their statements and make their speeches in Urdu to honour the language. Image Credit: PID

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has instructed that all his official engagements and events featuring him at home with local audience or his meetings with foreign dignitaries, heads of the states or the governments should be conducted in Pakistan’s national language Urdu.

A notification issued by the Prime Minister Office (PMO) signed by his Principal Secretary Azam Khan, says: “The prime minister has been pleased to desire that henceforth all the programmes events/ceremonies, arranged for the prime minister, shall be conducted in the national (Urdu) language.”

The decision to ban English at official programmes, ceremonies and other engagements is implemented with immediate effect.

“Further necessary action to implement the above directions of the prime minister shall be taken by all concerned accordingly,” said the notification.

According to the Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services (NHS) Dr Nausheen Hamid, who also shared the notification on her twitter account, the ministers and the government officials have also been directed record their statements and make their speeches in Urdu to honour the language.

Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill also shared the news on his social media account, saying Urdu language was our pride and like other countries, we should also be proud of our language.

The move to acknowledge Urdu came days after a joint press conference by Prime Minister Imran Khan and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on June 2, when the Prime Minister preferred to reply the journalists’ questions in Urdu while the interpreter translated it into Tajik language.

After the press conference the social media was flooded with positive reaction towards Imran Khan’s decision of choosing Urdu to English, a usual practice on such occasions.

The decision to ban English language in all official engagements has also been praised by netizens who see it as a big leap forward for promotion of Urdu language.

Rubina Shoaib, a Twitter user held in her tweet that Pakistanis could hold their head high while speaking Urdu.

Imran Khan is maintaining the integrity of Pakistan by making sure that all future events would be held purely in Urdu language, she tweeted.

However, there are a few critical voices, too, that made fun of the fact that the notification aiming to promote Urdu was issued in English.