Rahmat Aziz Chitrali – The Preserver of Pakistani Languages

Rahmat Aziz Chitrali
Rahmat Aziz Chitrali

At the risk of starting this piece with a cliche, there is no denying that Pakistan is blessed with talent. However, there are very few among these gifted people whose contributions are widely recognized and they are extended the love and appreciation that they truly deserve. Rahmat Aziz Chitrali is among the underappreciated talents in Pakistan, whose contribution needs to be brought in the limelight.

A world record holder and International Innovation Laureate (Germany), Rahmat Aziz Chitrali is a linguist and inventor from Chitral.

He is credited with the invention of a unique linguistic software that can be used to type in as many as 40 languages of Pakistan from a single platform.

His contribution is especially significant with regard to Khowar language, as he is responsible for inventing the first virtual keyboard, fonts and text editor for this ancient but meagerly documented language of Pakistan.
Rehmat believes that his language software can play an important role in not merely promoting but also preserving and documenting unwritten languages of Pakistan including Yidgha, Dameli, Domaaki, Ushuji, and Bateri.
From his humble beginnings as a student in a make-shift taat school, there is no doubt that Rahmat has come a long way as an inventor and “Father of Khowar” (language). However, despite his colossal services to Pakistan as a linguist, Rahmant still has not received the recognition that ought to be his destiny.
It is however, heartening to know that for his contributions in the field of linguistics, Rahmat Aziz Chitrali has received international honors. These include an award by an International Linguistic Research Organization namely Mylanguages.org for presenting his research on Urdu and Khowar languages of Pakistan. Other honours include, Dr. A.Q Khan Gold Medal, Pride of the Nation Gold Medal and Innovative Initiative Award. He is also the receipt of the N-Peace Award.
Rahmat Aziz Chitrali has also translated Allama Iqbal’s poetry into Chitrali language and worked as a voice artist in the first ever Khowar environmental film, “Markhoor.”

Presently he is working on the translation of the Holy Quran into Khowar. Chitrali Grammer, Khowar Qaida, Guldan-e-Rahmat, Guldast-e-Rahmat and many other books are his precious contributions to the Khowar language.