Urdu in Pakistan

Urdu in Pakistan


Urdu is the national language of Pakistan, although only 7% of Pakistanis speak it.


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Urdu is the national language, lingua franca and one of two official languages of Pakistan (the other currently being English). Although only about 8% of Pakistanis speak it as their first language, it is widely spoken and understood as a second language by the vast majority of Pakistanis and is being adopted increasingly as a first language by urbanized Pakistanis. It was introduced as the lingua franca upon the capitulation and annexation of Sindh (1843) and Punjab (1849) replacing Persian.

It is widely used, both formally and informally, for personal letters as well as public literature, in the literary sphere and in the popular media. It is a required subject of study in all primary and secondary schools. It is the first language of most Muhajirs (Muslim refugees who fled from different parts of India after the independence of Pakistan in 1947) and Biharis (coming from East Pakistan around the time of the 1971 Bangladeshi Liberation War), who form nearly 8% of Pakistan's population, and is an acquired second language for the rest. As Pakistan's national language, Urdu has been promoted to promote national unity. It is written with a modified form of the Perso-Arabic alphabet, usually in Nastaliq script.


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