Wali Zahid | IMC

Do you know what are the top native and first languages in Pakistan?

Here’s a list of top eight languages:

Updated February 2020:

Punjabi 48%

Sindhi 12%

Saraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%

Pashto (alternate name, Pashtu) 8%

Urdu (official) 8%

Balochi 3%

Hindko 2%

Brahui 1%

English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and all others 8%

Data may vary because of estimation.

The above data is from CIA Pakistan Factbook 2020. CIA stats include only first native languages.

The data usually surprises many because without data, we have stereotypical notions about facts and issues, usually driven by a false media narrative.

Want to read more about Pakistani languages? Try wiki (no authenticity promised).

A full breakdown of all languages in Pakistan on this Ethnologue website.

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8 Sept 2015: The Supreme Court of Pakistan orders to immediately enforce Urdu as official language at the government offices.

On August 26, a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja had reserved decision on the petitions pertaining to promotion and implementation of the national language.

VIDEO: Check out Wali Zahid speaking in BBC Urdu Google Hangout on Supreme Court directive to use Urdu as official language in Pakistan.

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  • Madiha Zain

    Its very surprising I expected chinese and Arabic plus english .well very happy to know that native speakers of hindi and urdu are in good number

  • Nasir Zuberi

    Thanks for sharing.

    Why Urdu and Hindi are treated under one category? Whereas there is huge difference in terminologies and meanings of many words.

    • Wali Zahid

      Globally, languages are clubbed in spite of their differences. Examples: Various English versions, various Chinese versions.

    • Wali Zahid

      Globally, similar languages are clubbed together in spite of their differences in script and dialects.

  • Sumaira Yasin Choudhary

    You researches about positive or informative aspect of Pakistan always inspires me. You are a true futurist.

  • Qasim Mansoor

    Really enjoy reading your write ups. Craving to meet you some day. Pls do inform if u r in Peshawar.

  • Munis Raza

    Saraiki is not Punjabi. We have totally different language and culture.

  • Fazal Hadi

    Where is Gawri??? Why it is missing and is spoken more in Upeer Swat and Upper Dir???

  • Ahmed

    or jo hum chop sadh k baithay,,,khamosh afraad! kisi ginti main nahi