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Pakistan Lahore HC asks Punjab govt to protect rights of persons with disabilities

Pakistani woman in wheelchair during a rally
Photo: Dreamstime

Pakistan’s Lahore High Court (LHC) has directed the Punjab government to implement “The Punjab Empowerment of Persons with Different Abilities Act, 2021” in letter and spirit to protect the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities.

Justice Jawad Hassan issued the direction in a judgment issued on two PIL filed by Sana Khurshid, a lawyer, and motivational speaker with a disability.

The government had told the court that a vetted draft of “the Punjab Empowerment of Persons with Different Abilities Act, 2021” had been submitted to the standing committee of the cabinet on legislative business for consideration and approval at the last hearing.

Allowing the petitions, the judge, in his verdict, directed all the respondent authorities to take steps to protect, manage and provide all facilities to the persons with disabilities under the Act.

He states that the departments shall inform the public and create awareness regarding persons with disabilities through the media and other means.

The judge directed the Punjab government to revise and amend laws where clear direction and command were not entrusted to any authority. Under Punjab Rules of Business, the Secretary of Social Welfare and Baitul Maal Department had a clear mandate to make laws and policies.

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