The Pakistani Senate has approved the mandatory Education of Arabic Language Act of 2020 that makes the teaching of the Arabic language mandatory in primary and secondary schools in the country.
The bill was introduced by Pakistan Muslim League Senator - Nawaz Javed Abbasi and approved by Senators almost unanimously, with PPP Senator Reza Rabbani submitting the only opposition motion.
The relevant ministry will implement the law within six months after the motion was passed in the upper chamber of parliament.
The bill stipulates that Arabic will be taught in schools in Pakistan from grades one to five, while Arabic grammar will be taught for grades six to twelve.
Abbasi said that Arabic is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world and the official language in 25 countries.
He stressed that learning Arabic could open more job opportunities for Pakistanis in the Middle East and lead to a decrease in unemployment and an increase in remittances.
He also said that the Holy Quran and daily prayers are read in Arabic "and we will not go through the problems that we are currently facing if we understand the Holy Quran."
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan agreed with Abbasi, saying that the government "categorically supported" the bill.
He added that according to Article 31 of the constitution, "measures must be taken to spend our lives in accordance with the Quran and the Sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet Mohamed.
A member of the Senate for the Association of Islamic Scholars Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haydari expressed his support for the bill and said: "Arabic is the language of heaven."
He added that learning Arabic can help in understanding the Holy Quran precisely.
Abbasi had previously submitted the bill at a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education in October 2020.