Include Punjabi as J&K’s official language: Sukhbir

In Lok Sabha, Abdullah says it’s widely spoken in Jammu and Kashmir

Include Punjabi as J&K’s official language: Sukhbir

SAD MP Sukhbir Singh Badal speaks in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament in New Delhi. PTI

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 15

SAD chief Sukhbir Badal today accused the government of “deleting” Punjabi from the list of official languages of Jammu and Kashmir. This comes a day after Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari raised the issue of not including Punjabi as an official language in the Union Territory.

“It used to be an official language of J&K, Farooq Abdullah will confirm,” Badal said pointing towards Abdullah, senior National Conference leader in the Lok Sabha. “He also speaks excellent Punjabi,” Sukhbir said in his brief statement in the language.

Supporting him, Abdullah said Punjabi was spoken by many in J&K. He urged the government to also consider adding Pahari and Gujari as official languages of the UT.

Tewari had yesterday said though many of Punjabi dialects were spoken in adjacent Jammu and Kashmir, the government “deliberately” kept Punjabi out as the official language in the UT.

Discrimination against Punjabi should be stopped in Jammu and Kashmir and the language should be included as the official language, Tewari said. The Union Cabinet recently approved a Bill under which Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi, apart from the Urdu and English, would be the official languages in J&K.

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