Urdu is the national and official language, and lingua franca of Pakistan. As such, it is widely used, both formally and informally, for personal letters as well as public literature, in the literary sphere and in the popular media. It is a required subject of study in all primary and secondary schools.

Less than 8% of Pakistanis speak it as their first language (10.7 million in 1991) but it is spoken fluently as a second language by all literate Pakistanis. It is the first language of most Muhajirs. Including second language speakers, the total number of Urdu speakers is estimated at 104 million (1999 WA).

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See also: Country Profile - Pakistan

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