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Declare Gojri and Pahari as official J&K languages: JKAP leader

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Jammu: Former legislator and senior Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) leader Mumtaz Ahmed Khan Sunday appealed to the Centre to include Gojri and Pahari as official languages of the union territory.

The appeal came even as various Sikh organisations have expressed resentment over non-inclusion of Punjabi as the official languages of the union territory when three other languages were recently added to the list.

On September 2, the Union Cabinet approved a bill under which Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi, apart from the existing Urdu and English, will be the official languages in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Expressing his anguish over not including Gojri and Pahari in the list, Khan said Paharis and Gujjars have separate cultural identities and the decision has created anger among the people who speak these languages.

“Like Kashmiri, Dogri and Urdu are popular languages in Jammu and Kashmir, Gojri and Pahari are equally important and spoken by the majority of the people across the Union Territory,” Khan, a former legislator, said in a statement here.

He said the government should not differentiate among people of one union territory and accept the demand to include both these languages as the official languages.

“There is a strong resentment in Pir Panjal (Poonch and Rajouri districts), other districts of Jammu division, and parts of Kashmir division where nomads live. The nomads have the third largest population in J&K and similar is the ratio of population who speak Pahari language,” he said.

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