Pakistan is a nation of 72 living languages. One of the major challenges of Pakistan in the 21st century is likely to be how to address this question: Are we going to view our linguistic diversity as an asset or a liability? Considering the complex history of South Asia in general and Pakistan in particular, it may be not too far-fetched to argue that our very nationhood hinges on the answer to this crucial question. Ma Boli Center under THAAP Group aims to study and research the role of language in the culture and art of Pakistan while promoting an appreciation for the linguistic mosaic of diverse languages, especially hitherto marginalized and ignored indigenous languages. The objectives include:

  1. Expand on the language offerings by including Seraiki, Pashto, Sindhi, Brahui and other languages of Pakistan;
  2. Invite scholars, academics, writers, artists, and activists engaged with languages, especially “endangered” indigenous languages, to study, research and teach, and publish at THAAP Publications as well as provide mentorship to our students;
  3. Examine the role of mother tongue(s) in education through research, workshops, seminars, and conferences;
  4. Establish networks with organizations relevant to the aims and objective to share resources and collaborate on topics of mutual interest;
  5. Draw attention to the central role of indigenous languages in safeguarding and transmitting living intangible heritage;
  6. Promote understanding and appreciation for the great role that languages play in:

(a) building inclusive knowledge societies by providing access to information;

(b) stimulating innovation by impacting multiple domains such as education, social and cultural life, economy, science as well as technology;

(c) contributing to human development through media and communication;

(d) realizing and achieving the potential for sustainable development, good governance, peace and reconciliation.

In Practice although our long-term efforts are aimed at addressing the mother tongues of Pakistan, our short-term focus remains on Punjabi, the mother tongue of the majority in the most populous province of Punjab.

Ma Boli Center will also undertake mother tongue advocacy at the governmental and legislative level by drafting proposals and supporting activism on behalf of mother tongue.