ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education Zobaida Jalal on Monday asked the Ministry of Interior to issue driving licences to the special persons in order to bring them on a par with normal people.

She was speaking at the concluding ceremony of a five-day regional seminar on “Capacity Building of Self Help Organizations of Persons with Disabilities” organised by the ministry in collaboration with the World Bank (WB), Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) and Asia Pacific Development Centre on Disabilities (APDCD) here.

The minister said the disabled were deprived of licences on the premise that they could not control while driving but “the disabled are more balanced than the normal ones due to their commitment to and concentration on their work”.

She said the special persons had been exempted from car duties and were now given the right to sell a car on duty-free basis but unfortunately they had no right to drive their own car. “We are in contact with the interior ministry to award them driving licences.”

Senate Chairman Mohammadmian Soomro, Minister for Religious Affairs Ijazul Haq and representatives of WB and JICA were also present on the occasion.

Ms Jalal said the two per cent allocated job quota for the disabled had not been implemented in real terms in different institutions and for this purpose special monitoring teams would be introduced to ensure whether or not they were properly appointed in the government institutions.

For special persons, she said corporate sectors were also informed of absorbing them in jobs on the basis of their professional terms. “National Action Plan has been approved by the government and is being finalised in consultation with all the stakeholders, which would bring a revolution in the living standard of special persons,” she added.

She said the provincial governments were also making efforts to meet the requirements of persons with disabilities at the grass-roots level. Commenting on the recommendations made by the participants of the seminar, Mr Soomro said it would be addressed in parliament on priority basis because special persons had waited a lot for the solution of their problems.

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