The CBID Provincial Consultation Meeting on Pakistan Disability Act (Draft) was held on 9th July, 2014 in Quetta where representatives from INGOs, NGOs and honorable parliamentarians participated and graced the occasion.
The rationale of the meeting was to share the activities of CBID Network and discuss Pakistan Disability Act (Draft) with honorable parliamentarians and sensitize them for its importance and discuss its implementation through parliament. The program was incepted with formal Recitation form Holy Quran and then Mr. Imdad Ali, Program Specialist presented welcome note where he introduced SPO organization and its activities for the right based society.
Mr. Mukhtyar Chhalgari, Regional Head, DPO Baluchistan briefed the participants about the meeting, its rationale and its importance as well. He said that we have CBID Executive Body present here and this network is promising in Pakistan as it has addressed and included all provinces and we have Pakistan Disability Act (Draft) and honorable parliamentarians with us as well, we request them to present this act in Parliament so that get it passed with joint resolution.
Mr. Asim Zafar, Secretariat Coordinator CBID Network and Mr. Riaz Hussain, Provincial Coordinator thanked all the participants including the honorable parliamentarians, both of them paid thanks note to the CBID Executive body present including Dr. Shahnawaz Munami, National Coordinator, Mr. Atif Sheikh, Deputy International Coordinator, Mr. Shafiq Ur Rehman, Provincial Coordinator, Punjab and Mr. Javaid Rais, Provincial Coordinator, Sindh and Mr. Ashar Virk, Reporting Coordinator CBID Secretariat who travelled a long way to make this event happen in best possible manner.
Sharing the inception of CBID Network they said that we persons with disabilities had no platform to raise our voice so we had been working in different directions but since we founded CBID Network we have a common place to deliver and serve. We have one agenda under this network. CBID is our identification and representative entity they added.
Mr. Asim Zafar informed the participants that we had 1981 Acct on Disability but it did not deliver and there was no positive change in the lives of persons with disabilities. We have developed Pakistan Disability Act (Draft) to discuss here to present it in the parliament and get it passed through resolution. He further invited the panel of CBID Executive Body including Dr. Shahnawaz Munami, National Coordinator, Mr. Atif Sheikh, Deputy International Coordinator, Mr. Shafiq Ur Rehman, Provincial Coordinator, Punjab and Mr. Javaid Rais, Provincial Coordinator, Sindh to brief Pakistan Disability Act (Draft) and its importance.
Mr. Shafiq Ur Rehman, Provincial Coordinator, Punjab appreciated the hospitality of Quetta and thanked the participants and parliamentarians for sparing their valued time for this event. Discussing the issues of persons with disabilities he said that the most burning issue is accessibility, we have no accessibility in Pakistan. I have visited various countries and when we persons with disabilities visit those countries we do not feel ourselves disabled because of accessibility in transportation, buildings, public places etc. It was achieved through struggle of persons with disabilities as they raised voice for their rights and respectable place in society. He added that the Baluchistan government is replete with delivering Chief Minister with his cabinet and we request the implementation of Pakistan Disability Act (Draft). Baluchistan will lead disability movement as when most neglected are facilitated they work in such a befitting manner.
Mr. Atif Sheikh, Deputy International Coordinator Speaking on the occasion sensitized the participants of the disability and issues associated with it. He emphasized on the creation of accessible and barrier free society, being Muslim he added that it is our religious obligation to work for the creation of barrier free society. He quoted a Hadith Where Prophet MUHAMMAD (Sallla La Ho Eleh e Wa Aaleh I Wassaam) preached about the right based society.
He informed that the exact number of Persons with Disabilities is not known, the 2% and 10% are mere estimates as most of the persons with disabilities are not counted as their parents do not get them registered and they remain uncounted. 1981 Act was charity based act and we do not accept ht, let’s join hands for the implementation of Pakistan Disability Act (Draft).
Javaid Rais, Provincial Coordinator, Sindh appreciated the fruitful event on Pakistan Disability Act (Draft) he said that all the provinces have to work for the implementation of this act as it addresses the issues and dignity of persons with disabilities. We persons with disabilities have equal right to live with our counterparts provided with same facilities. Sindh province has formed a committee on disability and it is serving well so Baluchistan should form such committee too to serve persons with disabilities. He appreciated the honorable Parliamentarians for their valued presence and hoped that soon we will get this draft approved by the parliament.
Dr. Shahnawaz Munami, National Coordinator gave briefing on Pakistan Disability (Draft) and thoroughly informed the participants of this act and its importance for persons with disabilities. Discussing the 1981 Act he informed that it has many drawbacks and it was charity based that harms the dignity of person with disabilities. He said that persons with disabilities need dignity and respectful life in society not charity this can be achieved through the implementation of this act. Recalling his previous visit to Quetta and meeting with Mr. Shahwani where we discussed this bill in previous visit and Honorable Parliamentarian promised for the implementation the moment we prepare that draft.
He added that this act defines our rights; representatives from 22 countries were invited to Pakistan in November 2013 to discuss this bill and now have it complete. He forced the parliamentarians to take provincial responsibility and the national level implementation will be followed by CBID Network.
The Signatory Session: The signatory session was observed where honorable parliamentarians and participants signed the memorandum of understanding and took oath for the implementation of this bill from the parliamentarians.
Parliamentarians’ Comments on Pakistan Disability Act (Draft)
Mr. Zamruk Achakzai: He said that we are all with you with our heart and soul; we have learnt that anyone can be disabled and we are equal. We promise to work for the approval and implementation of this act.
Ms. Samina Khan: He appreciated Persons with Disabilities and said the she felt empowered through this fruitful discussion and it had been a source of learning. We are responsible that we did not work on accessibility and persons with disabilities were ignored in policy matters, we are caught up in many problems, there are national issues that we are dealing with but we will get this act passed by the parliament.
Mr. Nasrullah Zehri: He resolved that we will get this bill passed by the parliaments and we will be in the process to get it implemented. He emphasized that persons with disabilities are not leftover of society rather they are integral part and they are contributing as well and in this scenario we have to support their good moves and causes.
Muhammad Khan Lehri: He appreciated the efforts of persons with disabilities for the conduction of such a wonderful thought provoking event and resolved that he will leave no stone unturned to raise this bill in parliament and it will get passed as well and implemented by all for us for the rightful place and dignity of persons with disabilities.
Mt. Yasmeen Lehri: She appreciated CBID network for this prophetic job to serve persons with disabilities. She added that she has been attended and participating such meeting before too and she appreciates that CBID Network raises voice for the rights of persons with disabilities. She said that only persons with disabilities are not there to face discrimination but women also face many problems and they are also deprived of many facilities and rightful place in society. We will serve persons with disabilities and get this draft approved by the parliament.
Ms. Sapozmi Achakzai: She said that persons with disabilities have the same right to live like their counterparts and they must be provided with respectable place in society, she added that all of us will be working for you and with you for the creation of right based society for all.