Terming English as a global language, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan, urged students to learn the English language to promote the Kashmir cause throughout the world.
He was speaking as the chief guest at the opening ceremony of ‘English Works’ seminar organized by Department of English and Applied Linguistic, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Islamabad and the Regional English Language Office (RELO) of the US Embassy in Pakistan.
The event was also addressed by Vice Chancellor of AIOU, Professor Dr Zia-ul- Qayyum and other officials of the university and US Embassy.
The President said that being the language of science, technology, diplomacy and peace around the world, learning English was inevitable and not an option.
He said although Urdu is our national language and we were proud of it, yet English being the lingua franca has become an effective tool for global communication.
The President observed that English was no longer considered as a foreign language but it has taken the place of the language of technology, diplomacy, and media and has assumed the status of de-facto official language not just in Pakistan but in many countries around the world.
He said that he did not think anybody could seriously doubt that the English language today was more widely spoken than it was 50 years ago or even 10 years ago.
Explaining the benefits of learning English, AJK President emphasized that most of the books written about modern sciences are in English language and one cannot better understand a particular subject without learning the language in which the subject is being taught.
He said AJK students were fortunate that they were living in a country where English was widely spoken and understood after its mother tongue Urdu, which thereby makes it easy to learn the language.
President Masood Khan expressed his profound gratitude to the Allama Iqbal Open University and the Regional English Language Office (RELO) of the United States Embassy in Pakistan for starting an English language program for the students of Azad Kashmir.
The President called upon the United States government for opening the doors of its universities and institutions of higher learning for the students of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.
He also expressed his hope that facilitating the students of Pakistan and AJK by the US State Department would further strengthen the people to people relations between the two countries.
Earlier, the students of “English Works: AIOU Muzaffarabad” performed well prepared traditional folk songs and mystic poems depicting the culture of Kashmir which greatly enthralled the audience.