Table of Contents
Q1. Four possible options are given for each statement. Mark (✓) on the correct option.
- The population of Pakistan in 1947 was:
- 25 crore ✓
- 25 crore
- 25 crore
- 25 crore
- Higher secondary education course is:
- 5 years ✓
- 4 years
- 3 years
- 2 years
- The medical commission in Pakistan was established:
- 1957 ✓
- The literacy rate in Pakistan is:
- 58% ✓
- In the rural areas in Pakistan, the people are:
- 50% ✓
- The first diwan in Urdu ghazals was compiled by:
- Mirza Muhammad Rafi Saud
- Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutab Shah ✓
- Mir Taqi Mir
- Khwaja Mir Dard
- In Pakistan the average is:
- 57 years ✓
- 60 years
- 65 years
- 66 years
- In Balochistan and its surrounding areas, which local language is spoken?
- Balochi ✓
Q1. Write the names of three major folk tales in the Punjabi language.
- Qissa Heer Ranjah by Waris Shah
- Qissa Sassi Punnu by Hashim Shah
- Qissa Mirza Sahiban by Hafiz Barkhudar
- Qissa Sohni Mahiwal by Fazal Shah
Q2. What is meant by university education?
After Higher education, the university education commences. Many universities in the country have been established for the education of this level. There are many types of university education. This education includes the degree of B.A, B.Sc, M.A, and M.Sc.
Q3. What is meant by the rural and urban distribution of population?
If the people live in villages, this population is called rural population. If people live in cities or towns, this population is called an urban population.
Q4. Which problems arise because of overpopulation?
- Overpopulation increases unemployment
- It decreases energy resources
- It promotes social evils
- It promotes a low standard of living
Q5. What is the role of Rehman Baba in the development of the Pushto language?
Rehman Baba is the great poet of Pushto language. He holds a high position in Pushto society. The style of Khush hal Khan Khattak and Rehman Baba is like a milestone in Pushto literature and its impression can be found in the poets that came later.
Q6. Who was Hiba Khatoon?
Hiba Khatoon was the great poetess of Kashmiri language.
Q7. Which are the major games of Pakistan?
Cricket, Hockey, Squash, Snooker and polo are the major games of Pakistan.
Q8. Explain any five measures taken at the government level to resolve educational problems.
- Provision of free education and textbooks from prep to secondary level
- Provision of the scholarship of students for their elementary education
- Restructuring of the curriculum keeping in view the future needs and on a scientific basis.
- Establishment of Education foundation for the solution of educational problems at the national and provincial level.
- Revolutionary effects in the field of information technology.
Q1. Explain the basic features of Pakistani society and culture.
Salient features of Pakistani culture
The main characteristics of Pakistani culture are as follows:
- Religious Uniformity
Pakistan came into existence to provide its people with a system of life based on Islam. The people, despite some differences in languages, customs and traditions commonly follow one religion of Islam. This is the religion, which is practised by all people of Pakistan.
Several languages are spoken in Pakistan. Some of them are Punjabi, Sindh, Pushto and Balochi. But Urdu is spoken and understand in all parts of Pakistan. Being the official language, it is the media of communication between all regions of Pakistan.
- Literature and Poetry
Literature is an important aspect of our cultural life. Most of our poets reflect Islamic code and trend in their poetry. They gave the message of love and brother. The similarity of thoughts amongst poet and writers of all regions is an important factor in our cultural life.
- Dress and Diet
The dress is an important manifestation of culture. The regional dresses of Pakistan undergo changes in the light of local traditions, economic conditions, way of living and wealth in the region. But in all provinces, people generally wear Shalwar Qameez. Our eating habits, foods and social etiquette are strictly in conformity with Islamic principles.
- Mixed Culture
Pakistani culture is a mixed culture although the majority of people are Muslims by birth and faith. But there is a great influence of Hindu and British culture on the present Pakistani society.
- Male-Dominated Society
In Pakistani culture, the male member of the family enjoys the key position. Family is headed by a male member and in most cases, he is the sole sources of income for other members of the family.
- Arts and Architecture
The Iconoclasm of Islam has given a characteristic form and pattern in the use of elegant designs, based on geometric figures and floral forms borrowed from nature. The Shah Jahan Masjid, Shalimar Garden, Badshahi Masjid, Shahi Qila and much such grateful building are living proof of the excellent Mughal architecture.
Embroidery, Leather works, glazed pottery, wood work, carpet making, metal crafts, ivory are the essential parts of our culture. Pakistani craftsmen are considered as the best in their craftsmanship. They are known for high-quality works which are very popular in foreign countries.
- Recreational Activities Sports
The recreational activities all over Pakistan are common. The games like wrestling, hockey, cricket, football, squash, Kabbaddi etc are popular in every part of our country. These games reflect our cultural identity.
Education contributes a great deal in developing national character. The educational system plays a vital role in the formation of culture, unity and solidarity of a nation. It is, therefore, important that the entire syllabi right from the lower to higher level should be placed by the ideology of Pakistan.
- Religious Festivals
Festivals play an important part in our culture. Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha are our two main religious festivals. They are celebrated with great happiness throughout the country.
A culture which includes region, literature art, architecture, dresses, music, manners and customs has its root in the Islamic culture. Islam has described the rights and duties of every individual. Even in drinking, eating and dressing, we have to observe certain rules prescribed by Islam. So it may be said that Pakistan culture represents the true picture of Islamic culture.
Q2. Discuss the education problems in Pakistan.
Education Problems in Pakistan
Education is an essential investment for human and economic development. It is considered as the cheapest defence of a nation but unfortunately, it is one of the biggest problems in Pakistan. The education system of Pakistan is rotten to the core. The literacy rate in Pakistan is recorded as about 55% in 2012-13.
At present, the education sector is facing a crisis just like other major sectors of the country. Following are the major problems in the education system of Pakistan:
The educational system of the country is based on different mediums which divide the students into two segments. Most private schools are English medium while the Government schools are Urdu medium. Regional differences are also a major cause for a poor educational system in Pakistan.
Gender discrimination is very common in Pakistan. People are very conservative and they don’t want their girls to go to school and get an education. Due to this, the ratio of boys and girls in primary schools is 10:4.
Poverty is another factor that prohibits parents to send their children to a private school where the quality of education is high. Poor people get their children admitted to Government schools. The teachers in Government schools are not professionally trained. They even don’t take lectures and waste the precious times of the students.
The allocation of funds for the education sector by the Government of Pakistan are very low: only 2 % of the total GDP. The government should increase this rate to improve the quality of the educational system.
Education is very important for the development of every country. It is the only cure for the disability of a country because today’s students are tomorrow’s nation builder. Government of Pakistan should take steps to remove the above-mentioned problems so as to improve the quality of the educational system of the country.
Q3. Elaborate on the educational structure of Pakistan.
Education structure of Pakistan
Education in Pakistan is divided into five levels:
- Elementary school (grades 1 through 5)
- Middle school (grades 6 through 8)
- High school (grades 9 through 10)
- Higher Secondary School (grades 11 to 12)
- Higher education
All academic education institutions are administered by provincial governments. The federal government assists, primarily in curriculum development, accreditation and partial funding of scientific research.
In Pakistan, there are both public and private schools.
Pre-primary Education Early childhood education is designed for 3-5 years, and usually consist of three steps:
After the pre-school children are transferred to the primary school.
As part of the curriculum, students studied English, mathematics, science and art. Sometimes students are taught the basic work on the computer.
It is generally accepted, that secondary education starts in grade 9 and lasts for four years. At the end of 10th-grade students pass the standardized test, which is under the auspices of the regional council of intermediate and Secondary education (BISE). In the case of successful completion of this test, they receive a Secondary School Certificate (SSC). At the end of grade 12, they will have another standardized test and the successful delivery of its student receives a Higher Secondary (School) Certificate (HSC). The most common alternative to these certificates Is a certificate of general education, where the certificates of SSC and HSC level replaced Ordinary level (or O level) and Advanced level (or A level) respectively. Other possible certificates include IGCSE, which replaces the SSC. Certificate GCE O level, IGCSE and GCE AS/A Level controlled by the British examination boards.
Students can attend college or university for the degree of Bachelor of Arts, BSC (Bachelor of Science) or a degree in commerce/Business Administration (Commerce / Business Administration (B.COM/BBA)). There are two types of bachelor’s degree in Pakistan- the successful graduation and graduation with honours. The first type requires a two-year training and includes the study of electives (chemistry, math, economic, statistics) and the compulsory subjects (such as English).
After receiving the certificate of HSC students can acquire knowledge in engineering, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, law, architecture. Duration of training in these specialities is 4-5 years. For the title of Bachelor of technology, students need to unlearn 3 years and receive a diploma “Diploma of Associate Engineer”, and then another 4 years to learn the technical program.
Q4. Why Urdu is called the national language of communication of Pakistan?
Urdu-National Language of Pakistan
Urdu enjoys the status of being the mother tongue of 80 million people of the world, mostly residing in two countries Pakistan and India. It also enjoys the status of being the national language of Pakistan and one of the national languages of India. It is also the official language of different states of India like Utter Pardesh, India controlled Jammu and Kashmir etc. It is spoken and understood in many countries of Asia, Africa and Europe and a large number of speakers are also present in the USA and Australia. The total count of the people, who can speak and understand Urdu, is more than 200 million. It is the 20th most populous natively spoken language.
Urdu belongs to the Indo-Aryan family and thus is an Indo-European language. It has developed in the present shape under the great influence of Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Punjabi and other indigenous languages of Indian sub-continent during the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire from 12th to 18th century.
Urdu is the national and one of the two official languages of Pakistan, along with English and is spoken and understood throughout the country, whereas the state-by-state languages are the provincial languages. Only 8% of Pakistan have Urdu as their native language but Urdu s understood all over Pakistan. It is used in education, literature office and court business. It holds in itself a repository o the cultural ad social heritage of the country. Although English is used in most elite circles, and Punjabi has a plurality of native speakers, Urdu is the lingua franca and national language in Pakistan.
Q5. Explain the various stages of development of the Punjabi and Sindhi language?
Status of Punjabi in Pakistan
Punjabi is the mother tongue of the majority of people in Pakistan. According to 1981 census, the last census for which the figures are available, Punjabi(including Saraiki, Hindko and Other variations) is the commonly spoken in the household language for 60.43 per cent Pakistanis, followed by Pushto for 13.14 per cent, Sindhi for 11.77 per cent, Urdu for 7.60 per cent and Balochi for 3.01 per cent. Yet, Punjabi has no official status either in Pakistan or in West Punjab. The medium of teaching in government and private schools in West Punjab Is Urdu and to a lesser extent, English. There is not a single Punjabi medium school in Pakistan, as compared to 36, 750 Sindhi medium schools in Sindh and 10,731 Pushto medium schools in the NWFP, per a study in 2001. Except for a very small number of writers and activists, Punjabis are illiterate n their language- they can neither read nor write Punjabi, The rich tradition of Punjabi literature, going back to the 12th century AD when Baba Farid composed his poetry in a highly developed and sophisticated Punjabi language, has been forgotten, Among the educated classes of Punjabis, instead of pride and affection, contempt and shame for their culture and language are commonly observed.
A closer study of this unique social phenomenon of systematic and deliberate denial of their own ethnic identity by West Punjabis, as highlighted by their rejection of Punjabi language, provides many insights into the dynamics of the search for identity by various ethnic and religious groups in the subcontinent during and after the British colonial period and the way power structure has evolved in Pakistan.
The Lack of British Patronization
Prior to the annexation of Punjab by the British in 1849, the Punjabi language had developed on the same course followed by most other regional languages in India. Throughout Muslim dominance of India, Persian was the official language of Delhi durbar for conducting the official business until it was officially replaced by English in 1837. The language of policies of the British Government provided the catalyst for several local languages to flourish and develop into their modern and standardized forms. Before the British rule, a large number of local schools were functioning in Punjab. They can be classified as madrassas, maktabs, Gurumukhi schools and patshalas. In all these schools, Punjabi was the medium of teaching even though the main purpose was to teach other languages and religious subjects. For several years after the British conquest of Punjab, official circulars and court orders were published in Punjabi. The subject of adopting Urdu or Punjabi as the official vernacular and medium of education in government schools was widely debated among the British officers. A number of them supported Urdu for various reasons, including their fear of a resurgence of Sikhs if Punjabi was officially promoted. Most of the low-level functionaries in the British government bureaucracy in Punjab had come from Urdu government adopted Urdu for Punjab’s schools and lower courts. Although Punjabi continued to be taught in some private schools in Gurumukhi script to Sikh children, it only served the purpose of religious studies since government employments were available only in Urdu and English. Punjabi missed the boat of British patronization that was the key turning point in the development of other regional languages e.g. Urdu, Hindi, Bengali Sindhi etc.
The Sindhi language is spoken by over 53 million people inside Pakistan alone. Originally derived from Sanskrit, it is the official language of the province of Sindh in Pakistan.
The Sindhi language evolved over 2400 years. The language of the people of Sindh, after coming in contact with the Aryan, become Indo-Aryan. Sindhi language, therefore has a solid base of Prakrit as well as Sanskrit, the language of India, with vocabulary from Arabic, Persian and some Dravidian- descendants from Mediterranean sub-continent. Initially, Sindhi had close contacts with Arabic- speaking Muslims. Therefore, the language adopted many of the Arabic words.
The Sindhi language is an ancient language spoken in Pakistan and many other parts of the world. It is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by approximately 41 million people in Pakistan and 12 million people in India; it is the second most spoken language of Pakistan, mostly spoken in the Sindh province. It is a recognized official’s language in Pakistan, and also an official language in India. Government of Pakistan issues National Identity Cards to its citizens only in two languages; Sindhi and Urdu.
The Sindhi language is also greatly influenced by Sanskrit and about 70% of the words in Sindhi are of Sanskrit origin. Sindhi is a very rich language with a vast vocabulary; this has made it a favourite of many writers and so a lot of literature and poetry has been written in Sindhi. It has been the inspiration of Sindhi art, music, literature, culture and the way of life. The language can be written using the Devanagari or Arabic script.
Q6. Elaborate on the major social problems of Pakistan
Major Problems Facing Pakistan Today
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan was established in 1947, a country of 170 million people, full of natural resources and more than 60 years of independence but still not respected in the world community. In less than 30 years of independence, it’s one wing gets separated (Bangladesh). Remaining part till today is living on IMF, World Bank and foreign donations. Majority of the population is living in rural areas without necessities of life. It is a country where the financial gap between rich and poor is widening day by day. From the last 10 years, extremism is increasing. Whatever happens in the world it is almost understood even before the investigation that it will have a link with Pakistan. Almost every kind of problem exists in Pakistan, including electricity load-shedding, bad economy, fewer education facilities, fewer hospitals and no pure water in many parts. These problems exist in Pakistan right from its independence which as mentioned above was from than sixty years ago.
Despite it being rich on raw resources thus far Pakistan is a developing country with limited development in every era due to the problems it faces. In the following text, we will shed some light on some of the major problems faced today by Pakistan as a country.
According to an analysis conducted by the government of Pakistan and published at HEC shows that the poverty has increased roughly from 30% to 40% during the past decade. Consider that if 40% of a country’s population is earning their life below the poverty-line in which the people are deprived of necessities of life such as clothing, shelter, food, education and medication, such families and their children will be forced to think of their survival only.
Literacy is defined as persons aged 15 or above who can “read” and “write”. According to this definition, Pakistan officially reported having 50% literacy rate. Which means half of its population is illiterate. With such family backgrounds, inflation, poverty and child labour this rate is expected to increase in future. Even for those who are termed as “Literate” are only able to read and write, which in today’s technology-oriented world is still considered as illiteracy. Majority of the people forming the top controlling tier is almost unaware of technologies and technical mindset. Thus, causing the country to adopt the new technologies at a snails’ speed.
- Energy Crisis
Electricity is the major problem Pakistan facing today. Electricity in Pakistan is generated, transmitted, distributed and retail supplied by two vertically integrated public sector utilities: Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) for all of Pakistan for the city of and KESC Karachi and its surrounding areas. There are around 16 independent power producers that contributed significantly to electricity generation in Pakistan.
For years, the matter of balancing Pakistan’s supply against the electricity demand has remained a largely resolved matter. Pakistan faces a significant challenge in revamping its network responsible for the supply of electricity.
- Corruption and Political Instability
Pakistan is suffering from a fatal problem known as “Establishment”. Every vital department in Pakistan is controlled by the so-called “Establishment”. The establishment is a network of key positions in almost all the departments in the country. This network provides support and safe backing to their “touts” to ensure that they remain in control. The roots of this establishment may very well be deep inside underworld and secret agencies of the dominating nations.
There is probably also the main reason why the political process in Pakistan is not let to prosper. Soon after its inception, the sincere and loyal politicians were removed from the mainstream and only dummy agents and rubber stamps are put in place, while all the decisions are made outside the country.
- International Interference
India is typically termed as a conventional enemy to Pakistan. As mentioned before the people of Pakistan need to be trained to think positively about their surroundings. We should learn a lesson from the US and Canada’s cross border collaboration to improve their affairs and provide backing, why can’t Pakistan and India enter into such strengthening relationship?
Pakistan can never move forward with its proxy war politics with India and its involvement in the so-called US war on terrorism. It has to strike peace with India and other neighbouring countries soon so that it can use its resources for its own people’s welfare and focus on its collective objectives.
Pakistan has more potential to be developed to be a developed country earlier than India. It has the resources and talent. Yet it seems to sink lower by the day. India with a billion-plus population has a million problems to handle.
Terrorism in Pakistan has become a major and highly destructive phenomenon in recent years. The whole world looks at Pakistan, as a land of terrorists. The main reason being exploitation through the religious leaders and the reaction of the military operations both internally as well as externally.
The post 9/11 War on Terrorism in Pakistan has had two principal elements: the governments’ battle with Jihad groups banned after the attacks in New York, and the U.S. pursuit of Al-Qaeda, usually (but not always) in cooperation with Pakistani forces.
- Overpopulation, Inflation, Unemployment
According to official news Pakistani has an estimated 2% growth rate for a country of an official population of 160 million turns out be roughly around 3.2 million every year. This alarming growth rate is causing immense pressure on the head of the families who are to support them.
Given that about 40% of the population is already living under the poverty line and 5.6% of the population is unemployed, then the ever-growing population of Pakistan is just adding to the problems of the already under pressure nations.
- Economy Crisis:
In 1947, Pakistan had 30 million people with per capita income of 100$. Agriculture accounted for almost 50% of economic output with hardly any manufacturing, as all industries were located in India. Therefore, it was unable to feed 30 million people and was dependent on PL-480 imports from the USA. From thereon, Pakistan has come a long way.
Today with 170 million people, our per capita income in 2008 was 100$ which was ten times more. Out of every hundred rupees of our national income, we consume 85 rupees and save only 15 rupees, which means that the amount of money which is available to invest for economic growth and advancement is too little. Because to grow by 6% you need at least 24-25% investment rate. In 190, Pakistan’s share was 0.2% of the world trade. After 20 years it has come down to 0.12% in a very buoyant world economy.
- Health Issues
Pakistan is facing a health crisis with rising rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other non-communicable diseases which disproportionately affect poor families, with possible side effects of disability and premature death and worsening poverty as people pay for medical treatment out of their own pockets.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 4 million cases of diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria and skin conditions that had largely resulted from the flood conditions. Cholera outbreaks have also been reported from flood-affected areas. From Oct 15 to 22, WHO reported about 258,000 consultations for pneumonia, diarrhea, and suspected malaria. Furthermore, dreaded diseases such as dengue and Congo fevers have been reported from the field, along with measles encephalitis and neonatal tetanus.
Q7. Explain the role of minorities in Pakistan.
Minorities in Pakistan
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah made a speech to Pakistan’s first constituent assembly on that day in 1947, which was chaired by a non-Muslim, Joginder Nath Mandal.
In his address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11 August 1947, Muhammad Ali Jinnah said: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or any other places of worship in the State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed- that has nothing to do with the business of the State. We are starting with this fundamental principle: that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State. Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not so in the religious sense because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state”.
When Pakistan was created, it’s Founding Father Muhammad Ali Jinnah endorsed the principles of religious freedom and equal rights for all, irrespective of caste or creed. The succession of constitutions that followed went counter to these ideals and opened the door to persecution and violence against minorities. Beside blasphemy, Christians and members of other non-Muslim religions have to deal with the problem of forced conversions and marriages.
Pakistan is a plural society with several religious, sectarian and entho-linguistic groups. It is a nation of about 162 million people where Muslims represent more than 90 per cent of the total, divided doctrinal lines. As a religious minority Christians face religious, social, economic and educational discrimination. In addition to Christians, non-Muslim Pakistanis include Bahais, Bushists, Hindus, Jains, Kalasha, parsees and Sikhs.
Pakistan’s founding Fathers envisaged a progressive, democratic and tolerant society that retained its Muslim character whilst giving equal rights to its non-Muslim citizens.
Q8. Explain the common features of Pakistani culture.
The Common Features of Pakistani Culture
Different regions and nationalities have different customs and traditions. That explains the presence of so many cultures throughout the world. But there are also many commonalities among various cultures. Pakistan is a Muslim country and Islam is the dominant feature of Pakistani culture. Islam is against the divisions of people and societies on ethnic, linguistic or traditional grounds and provides a common framework for uniting its followers in single nationhood beyond provincial frontiers besides religion the constitution of Pakistan, also provides freedom and benefits to everyone. Following are the main characteristics of Pakistani culture.
Pakistani culture is a mixed culture. This region has been a melting pot of different cultural traditions since human prehistory. The earliest settlers of the region were partly displaced; part mingled with the Aryan Invades. Later on, various people of Iranian, Afghan, Greek, Arab, Mongolian and Turkic origin settled and mingled with local populations. Thus, despite the many apparent differences in the customs and traditions of various regions in the country, they also exhibit deep, underlying similarities, known as Pakistani culture.
In Pakistan, social life is simple and modest. Customs and traditions are also simple. A majority of the population lives in the combined family system. Respect for the elders is common among all regional and local traditions.
A vast majority of the national population lives in villages with farming and livestock management being the primary sources of earning their livelihood.
Commerce, industrial works, and the service sector are the major employment sources of the people in urban areas.
Marriage ceremonies are still held traditionally. Religious festivals are generally celebrated with passion and devotion throughout the country.
Pakistan’s national dress is simple but graceful. Men wear shalwar and Qameez or kurta. The use of traditional caps and pagries as head ware among men is common. Women generally wear shalwar and Qameez for clothes and chader for headwear.
Besides, every religion has its style of dress. The embroidered dress is popular with women. But its cutting, colour and design are different. Hence, every dress follows the principle of modesty and parda.
Food of Pakistani people is quite simple. Bread made from wheat taken with vegetables, various kinds of pulses is common. Rice with meat is another favourite dish. Milk, Lassi, tea, green tea and simple water are the major drinks. In Sindh and Punjab, vegetables, milk and dairy products like yoghurt and butter, are consumed avidly. In Balochistan, lambs, meat, beef and dry fruits are the favourite food.
The skill of handicraft is inherited to Pakistani people from ancient times. Modern Pakistan’s craftsmen are capable and have a great aesthetic sense. Craftsmanship is generally a family business. Certain crafts are jointly undertaken by men and women.
The city of Gujrat is famous for the craft of paintings on earthen ware. The craftsmen of Peshawar city retain the same mastery of the art of engraving on bronze, copper and tin implements as their ancestors. Pakistanis are also heir to a rich tradition in the handcrafts of embroidery and the decoration of fabrics.
Sports and Fares:
Sporting events and fairs are important aspects of Pakistani culture. In various regions of the country, fairs are held with the changing of seasons and on eve of crops cutting or on occasions of important events in the lives of Sufi saints. People from all walks of life come to participate in these fares. Some of these events are quite colourful.
Some of the famous fares held in the country include the horse and cattle show in Lahore, the annual cattle-fare held at Sibbi in Balochistan, and the Shandur Polo Festival at Chitral in KPK.
Q9. Write a note Balochi, Pushto and Kashmiri language.
Balochi is a member of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is the main language of Balochistan, a province of Pakistan. It is estimated that about 7 million people speak Balochi as their first or second language. They are spread over a vast area encompassing southeastern Iran, southwestern Pakistan, southwesters Afghanistan and southern Turkmenistan. There is a large Baloch community in Oman and UAE.
Balochi’s origin is not known but it is hypothesized that the Baloch people may have migrated from their original home east or southeast of the central Caspian region in the 7th-8th centuries AD. Their language is thought to have evolved between 200-700 BC from a lost language spoken on the territory of the Parthian Empire. This may help explain why Balochi’s closest relative today are Kurdish and Persian.
Before 1947, Baluchistan’s official language was Persian and English. In 1948, with the incorporations of Balochistan into the newly created Pakistan, Balochi was replaced by Urdu as the national language.
None of the countries in which Balochi Is spoken has given it official status or uses it in their education systems. Even though Balochi is the primary language of Balochistan, it is not taught in schools due to lack of teachers, lack of parental support and competing pressures from other language groups. Although there are newspapers, magazines and literature in Balochi, the literacy rate in the language is only 1%. Radio has played an important role in promoting comprehension among the three dialects of the language. Today, Balochi remains primarily the language of the home and the local community.
Pushto, also known as Pashtu is a member of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is spoken by 42-45 million ethnic Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is also spoken in India, Iran, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates and the U.K.
Pushto is spoken by an estimated 8 million people in Afghanistan. It was made the national language of Afghanistan in 1936 by royal decree. Today, it is a co-official language of Afghanistan along with Dari. Of the two languages, Dari enjoys greater prestige hence most Pashtuns learn to speak Dari, but few Dari speakers learn Pushto. Nevertheless, it failed to replace Dari as the major language of business and higher education.
Pushto is spoken by 9.6 million people in Pakistan, but it has no official status and is not taught in schools. Pashtun children are educated in Urdu.
Kashmiri, also known as Koshur, belongs to the Northwestern group of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. It is spoken primarily in the Jammu and Kashmir state of India. It has about 4.6 million speakers, 4.3 million of whom reside in India and 105,000 in Pakistan.
Kashmiri language and literature experienced two major influences. The earliest was that of Vedic Sanskrit. The later influences came from Persian and Arabic which began after the Muslim invasions and large-scale conversion to Islam.
Kashmiri is one of the 22 official languages of India. It is the majority language in multilingual and multi-ethnic Jammu and Kashmir state. Kashmiri is used as a medium of instruction in primary and middle schools. Some Kashmiri speakers use English or Hindi as a second language. Only recently has Kashmiri started to be taught in Indian universities. Nevertheless, literacy rates are relatively high.
Speakers of Kashmiri are predominantly fluent in a second language, typically Hindi/Urdu. Many Kashmiris also speak English. The language is known for its rich literary tradition, particularly for its poetry, dating from 12th century A.D. Kashmiri is the medium of much of mass communication, such as newspapers, radio programs and films.