Kabul: In a recent crackdown in Khaibar Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan, the Army has banned Pashto in its Army Public Schools, reported local media. As it has been banned now in many schools of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, students have been warned they would be fined if caught speaking in the language.
Several Pakistani journalists and political activists on social media condemned the move and said that the ban must be highlighted and stopped.
In a statement, the head of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, Manzoor Pashteen said in response to this action: “Pashto has been removed from the media, curriculum, justice and politics for a long time, but in many schools, it is also forbidden to speak Pashto normally. We should learn many languages, but no one will ever ban Pashto, our mother tongue,” local media reported. Pashteen further added and said that the national identity of the people will be lost if the language is lost by any means.
Earlier as well, the intellectuals of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have urged the Pakistan government to declare Pashto as the medium of instruction in schools; however the recent crackdown on language has sparked immense outrage across the nation. Besides Peshawar, literary and cultural organisations in Swat, Malakand, Buner, Swabi, Mardan, Nowshera, Charsadda, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Karak and other tribal districts have organised events repeatedly to mark the importance of the mother tongue, Dawn news reported.