Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice Abdul Haq Khan today said that the government is committed to make all possible efforts for the socio-economic empowerment of the Paharai speaking people.
He was speaking during the inaugural session of two-day Pahari conference at Abhinav Theatre here today organized by Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art Culture and Languages (JKAACL).
Minister said the government is aware about the problem faced by the Pahari speaking people and the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is serious in resolving the issues of the community and all efforts would be made to put the development of Pahari community into focus.
Abdul Haq said by the overall development, he means not only the socio-economic development but also the development and preservation of the culture, customs and the language.
He stressed on the officials of the Academy to work on the publication of Pahari Language dictionary and assured every possible support for its publication. He said the publication of dictionary would be a prime step in the development of language and government will support every move of the academy that is taken for the development of this language.
Referring to the richness of Pahari language, Abdul Haq urged new generation to carry forward the mission of its development started by their seniors. He said writers and poets are valuable assets for any society and through their writings they give direction to people.
He said its writer who helps in preserving the language while its responsibility of every Pahari speaking person to read the books authored by their authors. He said Pahari writers and poets have contributed a lot in making it a frontline language in the Subcontinent.
He said although the literature produced in Pahari is rich and comparable to any other language there was need to develop reading interest among the masses. HE said the challenge in contemporary times is that the readers are shrinking day by day with the advent of new media technologies. He said the writers will deliberate upon various challenges faced by the language in contemporary times and will come up with solutions. HE said government will seriously consider the recommendations made by the academy for the development of the language.
Responding to some of the issues raised by the speakers, Abdul Haq said he will personally inspect the functioning of Pahari hostels and appropriate steps will be taken for smooth functioning of these hostels.
He further stated that more hostels for the girls of the community and hospitals and schools in their area would be constructed.
While delivering keynote address, Legislator Zafar Iqbal Manhas dwelt on the efforts of individual writers and literary groups in bringing Pahari language and literature to its present level and hoped these efforts would continue. He appreciated the contribution of the Academy in the development of Pahari literature and underscored the need for literary activities like the ongoing conference in the promotion of languages and literature
Welcoming the participants, Secretary Academy, Aziz Hajni spoke about the importance of the conference in identifying challenges and opportunities for Pahari language and hoped the participants would come up with a roadmap for its promotion. He outlined the growth and importance of Pahari language in Jammu & Kashmir and highlighted its ancient origin.
He dwelt in detail on the role of the Academy in the development and promotion of the language and specifically referred to its ambitious Pahari language publication programme ever since the inception of Pahari section in 1978.