India’s two neighbours – Pakistan and China – seem to have just got closer. After getting together on big-bang projects like China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), news that the Pakistani Senate has a motion to declare Mandarin as one of the official languages of the country caused a furore online. However, it emerged that the snafu was a result of incorrect reporting by a Pakistani news channel.
Pakistani media reports suggested that the country's Senate had okayed the move. It turns out a Senator had moved a motion to promote the teaching of Mandarin in a bid to remove communication bottlenecks for CPEC.
The incorrect report however sparked off a round of criticism.
Pakistan's Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani tweeted: "In a short span of 70 years, Pakistan has flirted with promoting four languages that were not the mother tongue of many people in the country- English, Urdu, Arabic, and now Chinese — ignoring native languages.
Punjabi, which is widely spoken in Punjab province of Pakistan, Pashto and many other native languages have not been declared official languages of the country.
According to Dawn News, Pakistanis are more interested in learning the Chinese language than ever as they see the tides changing and expect that knowing Mandarin would mean more job opportunities in Pakistan and China.
(With agency inputs)