Minister’s comments

March 26, 2020

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I FELT offended by Punjab Minister for Information and Culture, Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan’s, insensitive remarks about people with disabilities. The minister’s utterances have not only hurt citizens who have disabilities but also their loved ones. It is unfortunate that the society in which we live has such deep-rooted prejudices and believes such fallacies.

I also suffer from a physical impairment. I too have encountered similar inhumane remarks throughout my life. I never expected that a person of such stature who claims that he is a representative of the people would make people with deficiencies the scapegoats of society.

If the people upon whom we count for our welfare and well-being marginalise and degrade us and our parents in such manner, then I wonder how Prime Minister Imran Khan will bring change in this country. The government’s lukewarm reaction to Chohan’s remarks add to my dismay.

Being a physically- challenged human being who is a citizen of this country, don’t I have the right to live with dignity and self-respect? I urge the prime minister to make an example.

Sara Aslam Basar
Karachi

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THE Punjab Minister for Information and Culture recently made some insensitive remarks regarding disabled children. The minister said that children are born disabled owing to their parents’ sinful and illegal activities, and that such children are an act of punishment from God. The minister did not clarify his views nor did he even present any evidence to justify his claim.

The minister’s irrational comments have, in fact, disheartened the parents of special individuals, who already suffer owing to society’s insensitive behaviour. One wonders how such an irresponsible person has been appointed a minister.

Abdul Hafeez Jatoi
Hyderabad

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2020