By Sher Alam Shinwari
PESHAWAR: Speakers presented various particle steps for the propagation and promotion of Pashto language at an open debate held at Bacha Khan Markaz under the auspices of Bacha Khan Research Centre (BRC) with Zaland Momand in the chair. They were of the view that political leaders in the power in the past did not heed towards problems being faced by the Pashto language due to which it suffered a lot despite the fact that it was the language of majority in the province. They said it was hour of the need for the ANP -led coalition government to take concrete steps for the improvement of Pashto language and literature adding that unless there was official patronage, no improvement was possible.

The speakers also stressed that Pashto should be made medium of instruction at all the public and private educational institutions from nursery upto primary level and be taught as compulsory subject till class 10. Senior writer Saadullah Jan Barq said Pashto should be made language of the market and be given official status arguing that unless language being symbol of identity was recognized, no promotion should be expected. Dr Israr a renowned poet in his remarks pointed out that education stakeholders, linguists and intellectuals should put their hands together for preparing a joint strategy to work out plans for the promotion of our mother tongue.

He said it should be made obligatory upon the educational institutions to teach Pashto not only as a compulsory subject but also include lessons regarding Pashtun history, culture and social norms. Rokhan Yousafzai suggested that though books were in Pashto language for primary level classes in government schools but it contained substandard contents, which were totally incompatible with Pashtun society and culture. Nighat Yasmin Darmana an employee of the Text Board Peshawar urged that teachers should be imparted necessary training on teaching Pashto language in public sector schools.

Israr Toru said Pashto language needed to be projected on electronic and print media. Saleem Raz chairman world Pashto conference advised that 2008 had been declared as the year of mother tongues so efforts should be undertaken for arranging an international conference for debating different issues regarding Pashto language and literature. Prof Dr Yar Mohammad Maghmoom maintained that 1973 constitution had allowed the provinces to adopt their respective languages as medium of instruction as well as could use them in offices. Prof Dr Pervez Mahjoor Kheshgi suggested that scholars and writers should translate sublime world masterpieces into Pashto in order to enrich Pashto language.

Zalan Momand assured participants of the debate that those recommendations would be summarized and be put forward to the concerned quarters while similar discussions would continue to be arranged at the Bacha Khan Markaz. Aamir Gumaryani, Abid Sultan, Aziz Khan Malayzai, Yar Mohammad Khan and Ali Gauhar also spoke on the occasion. The participants formed a committee comprising Prof Dawar Khan Daud, Nighat Yasmin dardmana, Prof Dr Yar Mohammad Maghmoom, Rokhan Yousafzai and Prof Dr Pervez Mahjoor Kheshgi, which would hold its next meeting at the Pashto Academy University of Peshawar on Wednesday 23, 2008.

Note: Bacha Khan Research Center will organize such kind of academic debates monthly on regular basis. An organizing committee comparing on Mushtaq Majrooh Yusafzai, Fazal Rehman Zahid and Amjad Shehzad was given the task to manage such seminars on various topics.