Pakistan should pass comprehensive law for welfare of disabled people: PMHA report

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ISLAMABAD: A Potohar Mental Health Association (PMHA) report that was launched on Saturday, titled Bringing Disability in the Constitutional Net stated that Pakistan has no comprehensive laws for the welfare of people living with disabilities.

The report says people living with disabilities are being denied their right to political participations and very few people with disabilities have joined political parties as workers and even fewer hold offices with parties.

The report mentioned the need for passing a comprehensive law for the well-being of people living with disabilities so they can fully participate in all spheres of life and to ensure their rights.

Furthermore, the report shows data about people living with disabilities is scarce and inconsistent. As per the 1998 census, 2.38pc to 2.5pc of the population have disabilities. If that percentage persisted, 4.7 million of the country’s 200 million population should be disabled.

However, as per the census of 2017, this percentage is reported to have declined, standing at 1.6pc so that 3.2 million people have disabilities. The report raises questions about these statistics though.

The report suggests that the participation of persons with disabilities in different spheres of life will significantly increase if a holistic law dealing with their welfare is introduced.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Secretary General Farhatullah Babar during the launch said, “Proper steps should be taken to bring disabled people into the mainstream.”

PMHA President Zulqurnain Asghar said, “The absence of law means the absence of any binding documents to ensure the rights of people with disabilities are upheld and for holding violators to account.”