Languages: Conflict Over Language

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The adoption of Urdu as the national language has caused conflict between the different ethnic groups. When Pakistan was created in 1947, the Sindhis, Pashtuns, and Punjabs were surprised that their languages would be given inferior status to Urdu. These groups would have to teach their children Urdu for them to get jobs in the government, military, and business. To compound the problem, the native speakers of Urdu are the Muhajir ethnic group, who emigrated from India to Pakistan and who are not considered native to Pakistan. The native Pakistani population became upset that an immigrant population should be given special privileges over the native population who speak more widely used languages. The privilege given to Urdu has led people to be ashamed of their native language and is threatening cultural and linguistic diversity [3].


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