Human rights minister says government is working to enact legislation to bring differently abled persons into mainstream
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government wants to help bring people with disabilities into society’s mainstream to allow them to contribute to Pakistan’s development, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said on Tuesday.
Addressing a ceremony to mark the International Day of Disabled Persons in Islamabad, she said government was committed to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities across Pakistan. The ICT Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, which outlaws discrimination on the basis of disability and is currently pending approval, aims to address this goal, she added.
According to Mazari, public universities, the Capital Development Authority and the State Bank of Pakistan have all been directed to facilitate the needs of differently abled people through subsidies for education; special access points in public buildings; and ATM facilities for the visually impaired. The Human Rights Ministry, she added, was working to improve the coordination and cooperation between relevant stakeholders for accurate collection of data on disabled in Pakistan.
The human rights minister assured those in attendance that the Accessibility Code of Pakistan, 2016, would be adopted in buildings across the country to allow easy access for people with disabilities.
Separately, in a message issued to mark the International Day of Disabled Persons, President Arif Alvi urged for the provision of equal opportunities for the disabled in all walks of life. Ensuring these rights was essential to maintaining equality and justice in society, he added.
The president said the International Day of Disabled Persons was observed globally to raise awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities. Highlighting the government’s commitment to equality for all, he said the Ehsas program was providing free-of-cost treatment for disabled across Pakistan.
Alvi also stressed the need to promote assistive technology to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. Pakistan has played a significant role in promoting this technology, he added.