Pakistan - Languages



Punjabi is spoken by 48% of the population; Sindhi by 12%; Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) by 10%; Pashtu by 8%; Urdu by 8%; Balochi by 3%; Hindko by 2%; Brahui by 1%; English, Burushaski, and other by 8%. During the Mughal (or Mogul) period, a fusion of local dialects and Persian produced Urdu, a "language of the camp" ( zaban-i-urdu ). Although regional languages and dialects persist, Urdu is the official language of Pakistan; while it is spoken by only a minority, it is understood everywhere except in the rural or mountainous areas on the western frontier. English also claims official status and is the lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries.

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