Mother Tongue Literacy

An Exclusive Interview of Fazal Amin Beg on Wakhi Scripts Politics for Global Wakhi Language Literacy Channel

May 27, 2019

Part-1: Introduction, Rationales of Script debates and politics

In the name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Welcome to the Global Wakhi Language Literacy. I’m Gul Baig Wakhani (GBW). Today, with me here is Mr. Fazal Amin Beg (FAB) of Gulmit Gojal (Hunza). As you know better that in the social media, for over a month, a debate is continued on the Wakhi language scripts that which one should or should not be adopted (in the schools). I have been observing for so long that Mr. Fazal Amin Beg is not on the social media to share his opinion (on the subject). I was therefore compelled to reach out with him and should explore and know about his thoughts in this connection.
Well, Sir, you would be aware that on the social media, debate is continued on Wakhi language orthography. What may be your thoughts what could be the justifications behind and what benefits could be there out of such discussions?
FAB: A lot of thanks, Mr. Gul Baig Wakhani for bothering yourselves and coming towards me. I’m grateful to you, indeed.
Although, the debates and discussions are reportedly going on the social media, I have drawn myself behind from these discussions because last year there was also such kind of debates on the social media; and I had proactively participated in it.
Well, a (genuine) question arises that if this year again such debates have emerged on the scene, what could be the objective behind? It’s therefore very important to understand the objectives and motives behind. What do the people say that why do such type of debates are on the way? The actual issue could be sought out around it.
Although, I’m not on the social media (here in Gilgit), some people shared the news about it. Well, in the manner, some people through a committee (which is not a formally registered organization) have gathered together on the issue of the script and have been endeavoring to address the issue. The committee members are respectable and valuable people. But I could not understand as a couple of meetings had also held (in Hunza) and I had also participat4d in them. But before those meetings, I didn’t attend any meeting as I was invited in them because the issue was drifted from the domain of academics towards a more political realm. When the academic task is kept on its own position, then productive discussions and critiques could be made about the issues. But when things get politicized, such results could be anticipated. Because, an academic person, whosoever he or she may be, would look for integrating people on such matters and then lead them. But when such issues become a political matter, then the purpose may be to disintegrate or divide the people. Or, there may be any other factors that they could not take up the issue effectively with the local Government.
Last year, when there was such type of debates, it was subsequently revealed that an Ad Hoc Committee was formed at Passu village (of Hunza in November 2017) as I mentioned I was not part of that meeting. Here, a consensus has been reportedly made over Anglicized orthography. A gentleman, Al-wa’iz Nasir Karim, has been selected as the head of the Ad Hoc Committee. According to respected al-Wa’iz Muhammad Aslam the Committee was formed for the purpose of convening the next meeting. Well, it’s important to note that during such important issue, the newly formed Committee members/organizers either didn’t take care; or were conscious enough but ignored a very important community organization named Wakhi Tajik Cultural Association (WTCA), which was formed in 1991 and it has been functional in the region. WTCA was thus silenced or otherwise and not invited in the workshop. What might have been their stance on the subject matter needs to be explored and better ask them for the purpose.
In brief, in the meeting (at Aliabad in January 2018) I had explained them that as a language community we were not that much larger in size within Pakistan. In Gilgit-Baltistan Region, we were in two districts (Hunzza and Ghizer). The district in Tajikistan and Afghanistan is termed as Nohiya (Rayon) and Wuluswoli respectively. Besides, our community also dwells in Chitral district (of Khaybar-Pukhtunkhwa), more specifically in Burushel valley. These days, the youths of that area and your area are so shrewd who pace up impressively in their educational pursuance and career as you have been advancing ahead greatly at communal issues in the long run. But unfortunately, the Committee members did not took an inclusive approach by neglecting WTCA. To what extent, Ishkoman Wakhi Welfare Organization (IWWO) has been consulted or your people are represented on the issue you people would better know it. In the meeting, there were also some heated debates.
It was communicated in the meeting (of Aliabad iin January 2018) that Al-Wa’iz Nasir Karim and his team including Ejaz Karim of Gulmit (who is an intelligent person) and Karim Khan Saka of Shimshal (both of them work on latino-Greek script) and few others have met the Secretary of Power and Work Department (who has forced them to accept the Arabic script as they had already developed for S̃hina).
The debates on the orthography had thus begin from such points onward. There were strong observations that WTCA body didn’t get change. Keeping in view such realities ahead, WTCA’s earlier cabinet members changed completely and handed over the office to the newcomers, who apparently an by profession included competent members. But it’s another debate that it becomes more than a year for the new cabinet members are so mute and never raise their voices on such subject matters and didn’t organize any event, whatsoever their compulsion may be. On such crucial issue, WTCA should have come forward to it effectively. But they proved themselves so speechless and I must say it with a great shock, whether they are the President, General Secretary or other cabinet members. Perhaps, they won’t like or dare to face the related people; or they might have any other problems underlying. It is also important to note that someone had updated a news after taking over of WTCA’s new office bearers in a week’s in March 2018 that some members of the Committee had signed and illicitly and covertly submitted the documents to the Government’s Education Department with a false description that majority of the Wakhi community were in favor of Arabic script. But, many of us didn’t believe it as they were so respectable people. We thought they would honor WTCA and its new office bearers and will keep close corridnation with it for the broader communal cause with expansive and series of consultation on the subject matter. In Aliabad meeting (in January 2018), it was affirmed that the Committee would function under the auspices of WTCA but that proved to be just a thought without any true faith and action. However, I should suggest that if you ask those Committee members, they would be in a better and appropriate position to explain it to you. Those Committee members include Wa’iz Nasir Karim, Wa’iz Muhammad Aslam, and others whosoever they are within it.
As for your question on the justification of debates on the social media is concerned, I should say that it’s good if the discussions are carried out in a productive manner. Because, the issue is pertaining to the entire community and it hasn’t anything to do with an individual. For example, if I’ve contributed a bit or not, but I begin crying (if so, it’s not fair).what I mean to say, it’s aa matter of the community at present but particularly for the future generations. It’s important for us to see the future, at least, for some hundreds of years, and we should foresee the upcoming generations and opt for the decisions today.
Regarding the points of compulsions extended by the Government. Why would it force the indigenous community? I’m certain that it would not compel the community at all on such important issue (pertaining to the community itself) because the Government is also bound on many fronts.
It its to be noted that I myself had also carried out my academic ventures on Latino-Greek script for over 23 years and over 2,000 pages of documentation I had made in line with Wakhi Anthropology (known as Guldasta-e Wakhi), Wakhi word-list for dictionary (over 30,000 words); and so on. But, when late Dr. Boghsho Lashkarbekov of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, when visited Gilgit-Baltistanin 2011, he suggested that Latino-Greek script for for the PhD and international scholars and researchers in linguistics and which is imperative for their intellectual contributions and they are bind to follow that standard. In turn, this standardized script becomes difficult for the children and common people (semi-literate or new learner) to adopt for their (mother tongue) literacy. Instead, English orthography becomes so much easy for the common people and children of Russia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, China and Pakistan to follow and express themselves easily, which needs no special software or special font at all which otherwise are pre-requisite for the Latino-Greek and Arabic scripts.
Anglicized script is based on the common people approach of writing as they do communicate on the Facebooks and text messages of mobiles either in their mother tongues or in Urdu (using English letters). This is what Anglicized writing is based and it’s not that much special in many respects rather he has developed his innovation around such notable realities.
Late Dr. Lashkarbekov thus shortly demonstrated it to me (in Gilgit) and I realized it was so easy. Since then, I have developed a large volume of literature on the Anglicized orthography that includes Wakhi anthologies.
Click on the following link of Global Wakhi Literacy Channel to access the discussions live in Wakhi:

Exclusive Interview of Fazal Amin Beg by Gul Baig Wakhani
Part-2: Stakeholders of Indigenous Languages and Decision on the Scripts

GBW: Dear viewers, welcome! We would now go towards our questions again.
My second question is regarding the Wakhi writing system that who should decide about it? Whether the youth, or linguists, poets, the Government, the organizations like IWWO, WTCA, or few individuals should be there for the purpose? What are your thoughts?
FAB: Thanks again, Mr. Gul Baig Wakhani. It’s a great question as you specified few names, when they are combined, they are termed as stakeholders in English because all of these have their stake in the subject matter. All have their participation in the field whether it’s the Government, or the community, whether it’s the linguist group or the poets, or they are few individuals. All of them have their stake in it.
A language cannot be termed something as a property of an individual. In contrast, a mother tongue, rather in Wakhi we term it as father’s language, belongs to all the related community members. For instance, why does the question of issues and resolutions come up? In in such communal issues, few individuals get together and avoid consultation with other people that which option could be effective, such problems would emerge as they have their deep concern with communal interests and their decision or resolve.
I’d like to particular mention again, as last year I had also underlined it through my write-ups (as they are available on my website in electronic publications on ( that the academic ventures have been politicized, rather I should describe it as negative politics because politics is not bad provided that it’s positively brought in use (for community integration), it could be termed not lesser than a true meditation. but if politics is enacted for disintegrating the community for one’s vested interests and the whole community has to be sacrificed for such aims, then such politics cannot be termed as meditation but rather would be equivalent to hypocrisy would therefore describe, as earlier I’ve mentioned it, too, that among all the stakeholders, the students at level should be on top to decide, whether the students are of the universities or schools. It’s therefore imperative to keep such decision on them that which script becomes easier for them (after going through the demonstrations and presentations). They would be capable enough to decide whether it’s the Arabic script or Latino-Greek (which is for the international scholars and researchers), or should it be Anglicized for the common and friendly use of common people?
The (effective) decision will emerge out of those students at primary level for whom the mother tongue is supposed to be taught They will be smart enough in this regard if the three types of writing systems are put before them (in the classes of the sampled schools) This responsibilities therefore should be kept on their shoulders. They would smoothly help to facilate in the decision as the orthographies are meant primarily for the students. We are not supposed to recommend the orthography for the poets specifically. Have we dictated any poet to follow so and so writing system for composing their poetry? No, not at all. They will make up their poetry in one way or the other. Actual issue is for the students of the schools, where the orthography has to be enacted. Therefore, the decision must be left with the students. Next, the schoolteachers need to decide for it, whether they are in the State’s schools or in private. And, particularly, the parents need to decide for it as they spare time for their children’s education; they provide money for them; and they send their children to the school and supervise them. So, the parents have important role in this regard. They prefer sending their children to the English medium schools.
But why does English should be there? Because, every parent prefers English for their children. This phenomenon is not only in the case of Wakhi community but rather across Pakistan. In addition, in all countries where Wakhi community lives, parents prefer English to their children.
Technically speaking, English is highly friendly and easy for the children. For me personally, there is no issue at all regarding Arabic script. In the 1990s, I myself had developed Arabic script for Wakhi by removing the unnecessary letter sounds from it to make it easy for the learners. But what is the preference of the Children and parents alike, it counts a lot before me. For such reasons, when Dr. Boghsho recommended that English script will be so easy for the children and upcoming generations, and also to those who new learners out of Wakhi community, I accepted his great idea without any resistence and with sincerity. Dr. Boghsho Lashkarbekov was not an ordinary man. He spent more than forty years of his life on Wakhi language and he had done his PhD also in Wakhi; and has also brought his books in Wakhi, despite the fact he did spend his life within the Russian environment and did his PhD as well. In spite of all such genuine reasons, he didn’t pressed people to opt for Russian/Cyrillic script. Instead, he emphasized for English script for being perceptive for it in all countries of Wakhi dwelling.this was the main reason I accepted his great idea., although for over 23 years I dedicated myself for Latino-Greek. I think spending 23 years for the purpose stands remarkable as I had developed my expertise in it.It didn’t mean I was behind in the scripts like Latino-Greek, Arabic and Anglicized. But it should be noted that I’m not concerned about my comfort zone, instead I’m concerned about our children’s aptitude, trend and environment towards learning the scripts, which suits them in logic with alacrity. My logical standpoint is focused on the young, new generation and upcoming generations and I must not view my personal priority of ease and security. It is for these reasons, we all and you all have been advocating for Anglicized orthography for Wakhi, which will be friendly to all as compared to the other types of writing systems.
When I look back, everyone has their contribution for safeguarding the language.It never ever means that if I’ve done a bit on the subject matter, other people have done nothing. No, it’s never so (and would be ridiculous). Everyone has contribution in this regard and each one has been contributing (in accordance with their capacity of refinement).
Jami Sakhi, my brother-in-law, has a great contribution who published his Wakhi primar in 2001 on Arabic script, backed in parallel and equally by Latino Greek. But to what extent, both of these scripts (Arabic and Latino-Greek) proved to be popular and influential (in almost two decades). Particularly, in the same manner, we had a prideful senior and teacher, late Ustod Haqiqat Ali. It was him who marvelously championed to write the first Wakhi Primar in 1985 and brought it in public. What are the reasons that so far, the script has not become friendly and so popular among the related community members? We need to be unbiased on such points to ponder.
On the Latino-Greek script, I myself imparted trainings to various groups of people from Gojal (Hunza) to Karachi. My shrewd mentor of Latino-Greek was (I must not be dishonest to describe in a professional way) Amin Beg, my brother oder than me. It was him who mentored us in Karachi as at that time I was with him in Karachi University (Hostel). But we need to analyze the situation today and I must say that English is highly recommendable so that our children and coming generations should not be overburdened rather should facilitate their learning of Wakhi alongside English in the schools. When we observe the syllabus of the stduents, except for Urdu and Islamic studies, other subjects are offered normally in English, even in many State schools, as they have been striving towards English.
Legally speaking, the resolve for the script remains within the indigenous language community. The related Governments cannot impose their decision on the matter. But rather, the Governments task remains to productively and positively facilitate and support the language communities.
Well, why should we involve or blame the entire local Government in this regard. These are a couple of people, for instance if within S̃hina language, try to impose their script on us that we should follow it. It’s the matter of one or two persons. Therefore, the issue doesn’t fall within the entire Shina community or the entire local Government. What I could see that those few people are becoming pessimistic whatsoever there is in their minds. But I’m so sorry to say that some of our respectable people who are in the ad hoc committee became part of the game one way or the other. For instance as their names were shared with me were Wa’iz Nasir Karim, Wa’iz Muhammad Aslam, Ahmad Jami Sakhi, Ejaz Karim, Karim khan Saka, Hajat Muhammad and so on. I must mention that Hajat Muhammad had an impressive role with regard to Wakhi language’s representation and program on the Radio Pakistan Gilgit in 1996, through the forum of Wakhi Tajik Cultural Association (WTCA).In that respect, we are so grateful to him, the Government of Pakistan and the Radio personnel like Alam Khan and Qadir Baig of Burushaski program. And more particularly we are so indebted to Nazir Sabir (the famous World mountaineer and then Education Advisor) who significantly contributed in this connection. But I’m so stunned that what happened to Hajat Muhammad that he lost his ways on the subject matter. We cannot forget their roles. How we could forget them.
Today, about the language script, it’s imperative for the Wakhi community to come in consensus. Today, our population is not that much greater in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral (they could be maximum 30,000). So, shall we multiply further to come up with more scripts and divide them on these lines? Or shall we consciously opt to come up with a judicious resolve for one script and lead them around it so that the script is easy for them, for the young generations and upcoming generations so that they are not overloaded and exploited.
A script (of any language) is so important (these days) that through it we can transfer the knowledge and other facets to our young and coming generations, and these are in trust with us as a parent, a senior. A language is a kind of credit with us and conveying it effectively to our children and descendants is a serious obligation upon us in this globalized world.
Click on the following link of Global Wakhi Literacy Channel to access the discussions live in Wakhi:

Exclusive Interview of Fazal Amin Beg by Gul Baig Wakhani
Part-3: Legal aspects of Language rights; Decision, Compatibility and Sustainability of Indigenous Languages; and Technicalities in Scripts

Dear viewers, my apology for being interrupted as a video clip comprises on maximum 12 minutes.
Sir, what legal justifications are there with regard to language rights and its inclusion within the Academy. Going ahead further the, which script, among Anglicized, Latino-Greek and Arabic, could be more sustainable and effective for the long run if we keep some hundreds of years ahead? What are your thoughts about these points?
FAB: Thanks, once again, Mr. Gul Baig. In legal terms, I must admit that I’m not any lawyer or advocate. But as a little student of Anthropology of Law and a minor activist of Human Rights, I’d like to base the discussion.
Well, we need to understand the issues from two to three fronts and levels.
First, within the Constitution of Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan Region has no legal entity and status of a province. like Kashmir, it’s a disputed region. I’m not stating is only but rather in the recent judgment of Supreme Court of Pakistan it was clarified and declared in a judgement.
Second, if we look at the Constitution of Pakistan, we are though not a legal part of Pakistan; but there is no denial and doubt that administratively we are part of it. we are being governed by Pakistani rulers; and facets of the law are administered on us. If we dip into the constitution and see the Article 28, there is obviously described that if a cultural community has a distinct language and distinct entity can have its rights to have a distinct script for the preservation and promotion of their language through the related organizations or institutions. So, if I’m not wrong, it has been clearly mentioned in the constitution.
Article 28 has further been further defined in 251 (3). As a regional language is not a national matter but rather a provincial subject. For instance, we have Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) and that to what extent GBLA has made legislation on the subject. However, in Gilgit-Baltistan Governance Order 2018, Section 111 it has been interestingly and clearly described in the same manner as in article 28 of the Constitution of Pakistan with regard to language rights, preservation, script and promotion.
Keeping in view such important aspects of the legal justifications, no one within the bureaucracy, whether a secretary or other officers, can force us or impose their views (until the majority of indigenous communities of Gilgit-Baltistan Region aspire and decide for their language’s destiny (as they themselves are the legal heir of their lingual heritage). They are the public servants and their task is to help facilitate the public on such important communal matters (and not to dictate them what they want). They are not supposed to play the cards of divide and rule policies by lobbying with few people and impose their decision (it’s totally violation of the set law).

Last year, when there were such debates on the social media, and this year I heard, too, that more than 90% of the community members, particularly the youth and students, demand for Anglicized orthography for Wakhi to be implemented in the schools. It’s incumbent upon such Government officials and few native people to honor and understand what are the strong aspirations of the majority and what are their determinations towards safeguarding and promoting their languages in a (futuristic manner).
Important like Balti language in Gilgit-Baltistan Region (which is an international language and spoken also in India, Nepal, Bhutan and China), Wakhi is also an international language spoken not only within Northern Pakistan but rather in china, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Russia in addition with international migrants to North America, Australia and Europe. For such reason, we advocate that Anglicized is the only binding force.
Well, let me come to the last but highly important level of legal protection of the language rights. It’s thus the United Nations Conventions and Charters of human and Indigenous Rights in addition with the Conventions of International Labor Organization (ILO) of which Pakistan is a signatory. It has been clearly illustrated in them that protection and promotion of the indigenous languages is the right of the indigenous communities themselves and no one (Government or bureaucracy) can compel them against their will. The related governments around the world have to play their facilitative role and support them.Although, I would like to discuss at length on such type of legalities, the time is short and I’d mention these much punts for the time being.
Now, let me come towards your crucial question regarding compatibility and sustainability of the language with a specific script for Wakhi. Let me describe few technicalities. For instance, Latino-Greek, as I talked earlier, is specifically for the international scholars, researchers and linguists whether they are from America or Europe or from the East. It’s their standard and they are compelled to follow and meet their scholastic standards. We can therefore not apply the stands of those international scholars and PhDs onto the school level students for mother tongue literacy as it becomes most difficult for them to learn the high level of approach at children’s level as there are though the Greek sounds within themselves and their strange symbolizations of the difficult Wakhi sounds (unknown to the students). However, I must say that there are many similarities between Anglicized and Latino-Greek letters (excluding the difficult sounds up to 16 letters out of 43) the sounds of all vowels are the same in Anglicized as for Latino-Greek in addition with the softer or normal sounds.
Well, what I’d like to describe is to build on the common people’s approach of writing on their mobile technologies or social media. A little innovation has been made on top. This is what I’d termed it as “Poverty Alleviation of Languages.” Because, we reach to the common people’s approach and address their poverty and issues in mother tongue literacy and develop them at the grassroots level. Taking into accounts such important facets, Anglicized orthography is so simple and easy for the commoners as compared to the scholar’s standards of writing on Latino-Greek. For instance, when I write something at scholastic level, three is no issue for me to bring in use the Latino-Greek. But for the common people (at mass level), it becomes difficult for them to follow the letters effectively.
Now, let’s come towards the Arabic script for future of Wakhi. Technically speaking, Arabic is termed as a consonant-based language and little involvement of vowels could be seen in mass education. For instance, we have mainly employment of alive, ye and wow (the last two are though consonants but also play their roles as vowels). Therefore, it becomes so difficult for the readers and writers of Arabicized languages such as Urdu. Urdu is not a difficult language. But it becomes difficult in reading and writing because of the Arabic script which is a consonant based. When people start speaking Urdu, they can speak it nicely but when they come to read or write Urdu, they confront issues (particularly at students’ level and semi-literate people’s level). Therefore, as a strategy, if a common person writes Urdu message to some, he or she opts to write it in English letters.
Today, our people also need to open their minds. I’d reintegrate, they need to open the avenues of their minds. They should analyze such important and sublet points. Regarding English, I’d like to quate a Wakhi proverb, which says: “Pẽ g̃hidim-e tov c̃hes̃hk-e yupk pitn.” It means that due to what crop (in the field), the grasses surrounding the wheat also get water.” The more English will develop, Wakhi on Anglicized will also prosper. It should be noted that writing on the Anglicized script the is never an issue. It does not require any kind of special software and never it requires any type of special font as could be seen with Latino-Greek and Arabic models. It’s a pity to note that during their discussions on social media, some people try to confuse others by saying Anglicize also requires special software to be programmed. Who said so? Isn’t it a pity to evidence such type of ignorance; or they may want to manipulate their views. Contrary to Anglicized, Latino-Greek needs special software and font. Out of these requirements, one cannot work. Well, Arabic is more difficult than Latino-Greek.
Therefore, we strongly suggest and advocate to go down to the level of common people and address their issues based on their own practical approaches. In this manner, mass education in their mother tongues will be effective.
Well, some people think that no literatures have been developed on Anglicized. It sounds so naive or otherwise. Some aspects of the Angelized literatures or materials you could see on my website ( is on to the digital world and thousands of people have got accessed to it in five months period (since January 2019).besides, I’ve also collected and compiled over 2,000 pages of poetry of more than a hundred and twenty poets. Furthermore, on Anglicized, I’ve been transferring the Latino-Greek martials on Wakhi as well as stories, grammatical portions and so on.
I’d recommend that instead of going back to the history for five hundred years, why not to foresee the five hundred years ahead (in future)?
If the Wakhi language has been travelling for over four thousand years, why do we by force try to link it with Arabic? We don’t have any hatred for it. There is no doubt, it’s the language of Qur’an but it can be termed as Islamic language. Instead, it is termed as Arabic language because in the Arab World, there are not only Muslims. There are also Christians and Jews plus others.
Click on the following link of Global Wakhi Literacy Channel to access the discussions live in Wakhi:

Exclusive Interview of Fazal Amin Beg by Gul Baig Wakhani
Part-4: Conclusions and consultations with the related civil Society Organizations
In the same manner, in the Central Asian States, Turkey, Malisia and Indonesia (being the populace Muslim Country) do they have Arabic script in use for protection and promotion of their languages? No, not at all. but why then we people by force try to Arabicize our unwritten languages to make them further vulnerable? Among us, there are lesser than 5% individuals, who try to manipulate the majority. Interestingly, such elements have exposed themselves on the social media as well; on the other most recommendations also followed for English script.
By keeping in view the strong viewpoints of the majority, it’s also incumbent upon the Government to honor the recommendations they have presented. If the Local Government of Gilgit-Baltistan is under the Federal Government and if some facets of the Constitution they execute on the region, the views of the vast majority of the Wakhi community must be respected and accepted. To reiterate, the United Nations Human Rights charters and International Labor Organization’s conventions must be honored where it clearly states that the indigenous communities have to decide for the fate of their languages.
We would be happy if, Hafiz Hafeez-ur Rahman, Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan Region, is a nice person and can understand the situations. I doubt if he has been appropriately briefed about and communicated on the situation. It’s important to meet him and it’s also an obligation upon him to analyze such indigenous rights of languages. As Balti language has its international posture, in the same manner, Wakhi has its invaluable significance. This would be their greatness if positive steps were taken to address productively the indigenous communities on such important issues around their strong will.
Coming towards the Government’s imposition of decision, as you mentioned on the social media the debates continue, it’s not that much difficult to revert as it has been taken in administrative terms.
Let me quote a case connected in some way with such situation. Along with my other fellows, I myself also took part in a move pertaining to and against the Lahore high Court, which has removed the medial seats/quotas of Gilgit-Baltistan in 1998. As we compelled the Federal government (Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas) to appeal in the Supreme court of Pakistan. I myself have also attended the hearing of the Case twice and the judgement came in favor of the students of Gilgit-Baltistan. Our Advocate General of Gilgit-Baltistan at that time was Hafeez-ur Rahman of Yasin valley, who in the later phase retired as secretary Law of the Region. When the students arose, had a demonstration in Islamabad, held meetings with Federal Secretary of KANA Division. Thus, the medical seats in Punjab were restored. What I mean to say that the case in hand on indigenous rights violation is an administrative manipulation; and it’s within the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan. What I could is that it’s relatively easier to handle.
Today, all stakeholders, which you specified in the beginning, should get together and hold conferences and workshops. WTCA must not remain in slumber which may not be favorable for them, too. They must not remain so insensitive. If the community has trusted them and entrust such invaluable responsibilities to them, they should respect the mandates. They should know their duties and functions. How to address such issues.
Apart from WTCA, there is Gojal Educational and Cultural Association (GECA) based in Islamabad, and the office bearers should open their heart and they need also to come forward; should arrange sessions with the students within their jurisdictions.
Likewise, Ishkoman Wakhi Welfare Organization (IWWO represents a large an an original Wakhi population in Ghizer district. Today, this important population of the community cannot be ignored. No one can neglect them. Being little Wakhi researcher, I must mention here that our Wakhi language of Gojal is known more in Hunza. But when we look at the Ishkoman Wakhi, their style of communication, their grammatical structure, their cultural traits are easily understood in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Russia and China. While the Wakhi of Hunza becomes harder to be understood as it has its own peculiarities within itself. Our people need to be open-hearted.
Gojal Students Association, Karachi has reportedly also raised their genuine and just voices against the discriminatory approaches and injustices and remained proactive. It is not only their right to raise their voices but rather an obligation upon their shoulders to envision their and their future generations destiny linked with their mother tongue.
Not only this much, I’d suggest that wherever there are students’ forums at village levels, there should also be consultation on the subject matter with them as well.
It’s a high time that today such important decisions should not be in the hands of poets, should not be decided by persons like me who claim to be linguists, and should not be by those who claim to be the leaders. A leader is one who foresee, at least, 500 years ahead in future in a sharp contrast to the approach of looking back 500 or 1,000 years in history and try to link it on less logic. Isn’t it therefore pertinent that one should be futuristic that in the long run how this language would sustain and survive?
As different sources inform that for over four thousand years, the language travelled and reached us, handed over to us by our ancestors, and today in the age of globalization, and if we didn’t properly direct it and handed over to the progenies, a huge burden will press us all the time, although we won’t be in this world.
However, I must describe again, whosoever we are above 50 years, we should provide our advice and feedbacks, but the decision we should keep on the youth, more specifically lesser than 30 years old. In such manner, appropriate solutions would emerge.
Although, I wish I should talk further, I’m so grateful to you both that you bothered yourselves and came to me for taking my thoughts and deliberations on the subject matter, despite the fact I do not think myself capable to express myself before you.
GBW: So many thanks Sir Fazal Amin Beg that your spare time out of your engagements. Thanks also to the Cameraman, Mir Akbar, for the videography.
Click on the following link of Global Wakhi Literacy Channel to access the discussions live in Wakhi:

1. United Nations Charter and Statutes of the International Court of Justice 1945 (Article 1).
2. United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 (the Preamble, Articles 16, 22 and others).

3. Constitution of Pakistan (Articles 28 and 251).
4. Gilgit-Baltistan Governance Order 2018 (Article 30 and others related).
5. Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights 1996.
6. International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention, No 169(aimed at the protection of indigenous and tribal peoples and their rights). Convention No. 169 may be used as a tool to stimulate dialogue between governments and indigenous and tribal peoples, and in this way, to improve their situation.

Annexure: Legal Instruments and Supports to Indigenous Language and Cultural Preservation and Promotion

Consitution of Pakistan
Article 28. Preservation of language, script and culture
Subject to Article 251, any section of citizens having a distinct language, script or culture shall have the right to preserve and promote the same and subject to law establish institution for that purpose (p. 16).
Article 251: National Language
251 (1) The national language of Pakistan is Urdu and arrangement shall be made for its being used official and other purposes within 15 years of the commencing day.
(2) Subject to Clause (1), the English language may be used for official purposes until arrangements are made for its replacement.
(3) Without prejudice to the status of the national language, a provincial assembly may by law prescribe measures the teaching, promotion and use of a provincial language in addition to the national language.

Gilgit-Baltistan Governance Order 2018
30. Preservation of language, script and culture
Subject to section 111, any section of citizens having a distinct language, script or culture shall have the right to preserve and promote the same and subject to law, establish institutions for that purpose.

United Nations Charter on Fundamental Rights (Including Cultural Rights)
Article 1 within Chapter 1:
3. To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.

International Labor Organization (ILO)
Crucial pieces of legislations regarding language revitalization and language rights need to bee kept in mind.
Prior consultation law:
Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization: “The indigenous people have the right to be consulted prior to any administrative or legislative measures that is taken by the State that may affect their collective rights, their physical existence,their cultural identity, the quality of their life and development.”


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