Naji Khan Naji, a teacher of the upper Chitral, has compiled the 600-page dictionary consisting of about 16,000 words of the language, which is spoken in Chitral district and parts of GB.

First-ever Khowar dictionary launched

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PESHAWAR: The first-ever dictionary of Khowar language has been launched here with a pledge to work for the promotion of the language.

Naji Khan Naji, a retired teacher from Torkhow tehsil of the upper Chitral, has compiled the 600-page dictionary consisting of about 16,000 words of the language, which is overwhelmingly spoken in Chitral district and parts of Gilgit.

Though an American author had compiled a dictionary of Khowar language in Roman words in the past, in Urdu script Naji’s contribution is the first effort to provide a comprehensive dictionary of their own words to almost 800,000 people speaking Khowar language across the country, including Chitral, Gilgit and other cities where migrants from the Northern Areas have settled.

The Peshawar chapter of Anjuman Tarraqi Khowar had arranged the function wherein the dictionary was launched. Khwaja Saeed Ahmad Saeed, general secretary of the Anjuman, said Khowar language was the third largely spoken language of the NWFP and Northern Areas. He said about 0.8 million people in Chitral, Gilgit and other parts of the country spoke the ancient language.

Participants of the ceremony through resolutions demanded Khowar language programmes from the state-run television. They demanded that Khowar language programmes should be broadcast from Channel-1 of the state-run radio, as its broadcasts from Channel-2 could not be heard in the valley.

Another resolution sought resumption of publication of monthly ‘Jamhoor-e-Islam’, upgrading of Chitral radio station and arrangements to introduce Khowar language in schools at the primary level.

NWFP Minister for Population Welfare Saleem Khan, who belongs to Chitral, in his address as chief guest assured that the demands would be met. He said the matter of telecasting Khowar language programmes and broadcast on Channel-1 had already been brought into the notice of federal government and would be pursued properly.

Two noted academicians from Chitral Ñ Professor Israruddn and Dr Ismail Wali Ñ read out papers on the occasion and critically analysed the newly compiled dictionary.

Former MNA and Jamaat-e-Islami leader, Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, and others also spoke on the occasion and lauded the contribution of Naji for the Khowar language. Maulana Chitrali said the dictionary would prove to be a milestone in the development of Khowar language.

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