Languages of Pakistan | GCE O Level (2059) | Best Notes

Languages of Pakistan? If you came here to grab the maximum information for the topic, then be confident that you are in the right place. 

Let’s start at the very beginning. 

What is Language?

Quite simply, it is a mode of communication. 

A language is a way in which people transmit their ideas and emotions through words to others. 

There is no hard and fast rule that a nation or a country can only have one language.

Note that, it is reported that Pakistan has 74 national languages. 66 languages are national while the remaining 8 are foreign. 

This takes us straight into the:

Introduction to The Languages of Pakistan:

  • Urdu:

Urdu is the national language of Pakistan. Why was Urdu chosen as the national language of Pakistan?
There were multiple reasons for this. Firstly, the background of Urdu was a reason. It was used by Muslims from dates back up to the Sultans of Delhi followed by the Mughal emperors. 

Moreover, it was also used by Muslim troops in the British army and thus reflects the close association of Urdu with Muslims. 

Languages of Pakistan
The rich literary background of Urdu was also a reason. Urdu was a language chosen by the prominent personalities of the subcontinent.  

These include Maulana Shibli Naumani, Mir, Dard, Altaf Hussain Hali, Allama Iqbal, and others.
Their work for Urdu in poetry and prose and efforts to promote Urdu became a reason.
The close association of Urdu with Islam was also a reason. The Holy Quran had been translated to Urdu and many Islamic books were also translated to Urdu.
This shows the close association of Muslims with Urdu.
Lastly, Pakistan chose Urdu as a national language because of its association with the Independence of Pakistan in 1947

When the Muslims league was formed in 1906, it declared its objectives with the protection of Muslims to the protection of Urdu as well. 

In this way, Urdu is the language that promoted nationalism among Muslims which was vital for them to achieve independence. 
Now let’s take a look at:
Government Efforts to Promote Urdu after Independence:
The government of Pakistan took various measures to promote Urdu. Firstly novels, magazines, dramas, and films were published in Urdu. 

Moreover, it became a medium in various schools and was made compulsory in educational institutions!
Now let’s take a look at other languages of Pakistan.
  • Sindhi:

It is the language spoken by the people in the South-Eastern part of Pakistan, majorly in Sindh. It is a very old language with a pleasing history. 

With Persians, Turkish, Romans and British coming into the subcontinent, their words were absorbed by Sindhi and thus is a mixture of Persian, Turkish, English, Sanskrit and Arabic.
Languages of Pakistan
Languages labelled with areas
Sindhi literature was massively promoted by figures such as Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai and Sachal Sarmast.
Government efforts to Promote Sindhi after independence:
In 1948, a Sindh Literary Board was set up to make magazines and books available in Sindhi. Similarly, various books and magazines were also published in Sindhi and it was taught in various schools of Sindh. 

In 1954, Bazm-e-Talib-ul Maula was set up to promote Sindhi.  


It is the language spoken by the people of South West, mainly Balochistan and even areas of Kashmir. 

The population of Balochistan are the nomadic people of North-Western Iran, that’s the reason that efforts before partition in promoting Balochi have not been satisfactory.

Government efforts to promote Balochi after Partition:

After partition, the Balochi literary association board was set up to promote Balochi through the publishing of various magazines and books. 

Moreover, after the partition, Radio Pakistan Karachi began to broadcast in Balochi as well as the Quetta Radio station. In this way, people such as Atta Shad and Gul Khan Nazir worked tirelessly to promote Balochi. 


Punjabi is also one of the regional languages of Pakistan. In fact, it is the most spoken language of Pakistan. Punjabi is not only spoken in Punjab but also in the areas of KPK and Kashmir. 

Punjabi is a language that has been influenced by Arabic, Persian, Hindi and several other languages. 

Initially, folk tales such as ‘Heer Ranjha’, ‘Sohni Mahival’, and ‘Sassi Pannu’ were published in Punjabi that led to it’s widespread. After that, Sufi poets such as Baba Farid Ganj Shakar and Baba Bulle Shah emerged. 

Government efforts to Promote Punjabi:

Punjabi was promoted in several ways by the government of Pakistan after the partition. 

Firstly, books, novels, and magazines were published. It also was started as a subject in various schools and new mediums such as ghazal and nazam emerged. Ustad Daman and Gul Khan Nazir are some people that worked hard for the widespread of Punjabi. 


Pashto is a language widely spoken in the North-West of Pakistan. The emergence of Pashto can be divided into three eras. Firstly, the period between the second and thirteenth century. 

In this time, famous poets were Amir Khan Pehivan and Bayazid Ansari who produced masterpieces on Sufism.

The next era is the Mughal empire. Punjabi massively became popular in this time period due to the work of eminent personalities such as Hazrat Mian Umar, Saadat Ali Khan, and Amir Muhammad Ansari.

The third stage is the era of British rule in the subcontinent. At this stage, famous personalities that worked for Pashto were Rehman Baba and Khushal Khan Khattak.

Government efforts to Promote Pashto after Partition:

The government of Pakistan has taken multiple steps to promote Pashto. 

Due to the efforts of Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum, Pashto was given a massive boost and thus was taught in various schools. In 1954, Peshawar University was set up and thus Pashto through government efforts flourished.

Now let’s view the percentage of languages spoken in Pakistan, have a look:

Languages of Pakistan
Percentage of Spoken Languages.


With this, the article, ‘Languages of Pakistan’ has come to an end. WG Blogs tried to it’s utmost to provide you with a well-investigated and factual article. We hope that you would have enjoyed reading the article. 

I personally think that the efforts of the Pakistani government to promote the regional languages have been satisfactory. What do you think, share your views in the comment section down below?

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2 thoughts on “Languages of Pakistan | GCE O Level (2059) | Best Notes

  1. Reply
    Jahangir Ali
    April 13, 2020 at 8:10 pm


    1. Reply
      May 2, 2020 at 8:34 pm

      Appreciate it Jahangir

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