Arabic language bill gets Senate’s nod

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Staff Reporter
Islamabad

The upper house of parliament has approved a bill that makes Arabic language a mandatory subject from class 1 to class 12. According to the bill, basic Arabic will be taught from class-1 to class-5 while Arabic grammar will be taught from class-6 to class-12.
All lawmakers supported the bill moved by Senator Javed Abbasi of the PML-N except Senator Raza Rabbani of the PPP, who declared it “an attempt by the state to impose the Arabic culture”. Rabbani said: “Arabic should be taught as an optional subject. Making it compulsory will be inappropriate.”

Minister for State on Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, however, defended the bill. He said an understanding of the Arabic language is necessary to become a good Muslim as it is the language of the Holy Quran.

“Article 31 of the Constitution also says that the state must take measures to enable people to live a life according to the Quran and Sunnah,” the minister added. Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of the JUI-F also supported the bill and said the people who don’t know Arabic oppose the bill.

The senator cited names of PPP’s Aitzaz Ahsan and Rehman Malik and Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan and said these people could not even recite most simple Quranic verses.

Rehman Malik, however, rejected the claim and recited Surah-e-Ikhlas. But once again, he made mistakes during the recital, which created a humorous situation.
Bills were also introduced to amend the Pakistan Penal Code 2021, Child Labour Contract Act 1933, Service Tribunal Act 1973 and Bill for Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Senator Javed Abbasi introduced the bill to amend the Customs Act 1969 but the same was opposed by the treasury benches. The minister for parliamentary affairs opposed forwarding the bill for review by the Senate committee. The Senate chairman postponed the bill.

The members held discussion on a bill proposed by PPP’s Sherry Rehman pertaining to climate change and its impact on Pakistan. The bill called for serious steps to conserve the environment. The Senate session was adjourned till Thursday 10.30 am.