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burushaski script in Roman characters Okayed

GILGIT: The National Curri­culum Council (NCC) has app­roved the script of the Burushaski language in Perso-Arabic and Roman characters.

The script was approved in a ceremony, where NCC Director Prof Dr Mariam Chughtai was the chief guest. “We should celebrate our languages and it is a great responsibility of the government,” Dr Chughtai said.

Dr Mueezuddin Hakal of the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, recalled the contribution of several people responsible for the development of this script, which has evolved as a standard script for every dialect of the Burushaski language.

It was recorded for the first time in 1854 by Alexander Cunningham, who named it “Khajona”. It is now spoken by 300,000 people, according to a press release.

Speakers at the event, held on Tuesday, highlighted the importance of having a standard “family language” for the people of every culture, which should be in practice beside regional, national, and international languages.

The Language

Almost 120, 000 people speak Burushaski in Pakistan, as well by a few hundred in India. In Pakistan, it is spoken in three main valleys, Yasin, Hunza, and Nagar. Burushaski is a predominantly a spoken language. Occasionally it is written in Urdu Alphabet.

A modified Perso-Arabic system has been used since the 1940s. There is no written literary tradition, but a number of oral traditions have been collected. Burushaski continues to be a language of self-identification among its speakers.

The development of the language can traced to approximately the 12th century CE. Gujarati

Zahra Sikandar
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