LAHORE - A special meeting of the executive council of World Punjabi Congress (WPC) was held in WPC office in connection with the World Mother Tongue Day, with Fakhar Zaman in the chair.

A press release issued after the meeting said that Punjab government, Punjabi politicians, Punjabi bureaucracy and Punjabi elite are consistently exhibiting enmity towards Punjabi language and culture. None of the demands of the WPC have been given due consideration which included declaring of Punjabi as medium of instruction at primary level, establishment of first ever Punjabi University in Lahore, employment of MA Punjabi degree holders and radical changes in the curricula from Matric to Master’s level.

Punjabi organizations and groups have been demonstrating but the Punjab government has no preference for the finer things of life depicted by culture, language and folklore. Punjab province is the solitary one in the entire subcontinent where the mother tongue is not the medium of instruction, with the result the dropout at school level is much more as compared to other three provinces where mother tongue is taught from the primary level.

Punjabis, the statement said, may believe in commercialism, consumerism and exhibitionism but they fall short being the two representatives of this land of Sufis like Shah Hussain, Bulleh Shah, Waris Shah, Khawaja Farid and others. The hollowness in Punjab society and the promotion of pseudo-culture is solely due to the alienation from Punjabi language. The identity of an individual is only derived from his love for his mother tongue. It was also said that WPC is not against Urdu language which is a very beautiful language, but emphasized that the language of the soil that is Punjabi should get due importance.  The participants said that all languages spoken in the country are national languages of Pakistan whereas Urdu is the official language and lingua franca of Pakistan.

Fakhar Zaman urged the Punjab government once more to meet the demands of WPC. He cautioned the Punjabis that a conspiracy was being hatched to ask people not to write Punjabi as the mother tongue in the forthcoming census.

He appealed to the inhabitants of Punjab province, especially the youth, the students and sensitive civil society to beware of such a conspiracy and write Punjabi as a mother tongue which flows in their blood.

He cautioned the writers, intellectuals, educationists and journalists to let the people know that the persona of an individual is inextricably linked with his mother tongue.

Those who participated in the meeting and expressed their views included Hafeez Sheikh, Saeed Chaudhary, Tariq Khurshid, Mudassar Butt, Professor Rashid Rana, Iftikhar Mijaaz, Hasan Shahid, Aizaz Chaudhary, Seema Piroz, Sarwat Javed, Ziaul Haq, Muhammad Yaseen and others.