Exclusive interview with TIME, Pakistan’s Minister of Planning, National Reforms and Development Ahsan Iqbal said, that the change would come about as a result of a court directive.
However exact time frame is not confirmed.
The 1973 constitution of Pakistan under Article 251 specifies that the government under all circumstances make Urdu the national language within 15 year, however the law is still not implemented.
However, Iqbal clarified that switching from English to Urdu does not mean that the previous would be abandoned entirely and would still be taught in schools along with Urdu.
He added, “This means that Urdu would be a second medium of language and all official business will be bilingual.”
While some Pakistanis fear that the change would be a drawback for their children, Iqbal argued that the move will allow Pakistan to become more democratic as it will “help provide greater participation to people who don’t know English; hence, making the government more inclusive.”
Though many languages are spoken in Pakistan, English takes the lead among the elite and government ministries.
According to the CIA fact book, nearly half of Pakistanis speak Punjabi, only 8 % speak Urdu.
In the meantime, India too has a similar section in its constitution, however it continues to use English as well as Hindi as its official languages.