Preservation of languages key in promoting culture: Kaira
ISLAMABAD – Adviser to the Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira has said that preservation of languages of a country was key in promoting its culture and traditions. “Our culture and history are very strong and preservation of our native languages can keep us deeply rooted with our glorious past and history,” he said this during his address to participants of an international workshop on language documentation that was held in Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad. He said that culture of tolerance is the touchstone of any democratic society and this culture of tolerance gets strengthened with promotion and respect of a multilingual society. He emphasised the need for guidance from alma mater especially universities for the solution of our core issues. Underlining the importance of mother language, he said that we may teach our generations in English but the better understanding of knowledge is only possible in native language. He cautioned against the tendency of distancing of our children from the mother languages and said that it was the duty of parents to keep their children closely connected to their native culture and language. The Adviser said that nearly seven thousand languages are spoken throughout the world out of which nearly 1400 languages are facing the danger of extinction. He expressed his concerns that 28 out of 80 languages spoken in Pakistan were in danger zone today. He said the universities and educational institutions of Pakistan can play a key role in saving these languages from extinction. Qamar Zaman Kaira said that nations invest huge budgets in revitalising and enriching their national language. We also need a comprehensive strategy to promote and safeguard our culture, traditions and languages, he added. The Adviser hoped that participants of the workshop from across the country would have learnt the required linguistic skills to develop various projects to preserve and revitalise the endangered languages of Pakistan. Nearly 35 Pakistani universities from across the country participated in this training workshop. The Adviser also congratulated Prof. Dr Zia ul Qayyum, vice chancellor of Allama Iqbal Open University, for organising this successful training workshop which would prove a pathway to record and preserve the less resourced languages of Pakistan.