Special people fault candidates’ priorities
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): People with disabilities in northern Balkh province on Wednesday complained none of the 11 presidential candidates has any policy on promoting their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights.
The views were expressed at a gathering arranged by the Social and Culture Association of People with Disabilities at the provincial office of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission in Mazar-i-Sharif. A large number of disabled people attended the gathering.
The association head, Syed Mohammad Yazdan Parast, told Pajhwok Afghan News 18 days into electioneering, no presidential candidate had so far revealed his policy on the rights of people with disabilities.
“So far we could not hear a candidate speaking about the disabled, so that we can think over that before casting our votes.” He continued all candidates were yet to speak about social and economic problems being faced by the disabled.
Under the country’s laws, he argued, the disabled were entitled to exercise their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights like others, calling on the presidential hopefuls to present their policies in this regard.
He claimed most of the candidates had been part of the incumbent government and had no exclusive programme for people with disabilities.
Yazdan Parast also accused the provincial government of denying the disabled people their due rights, saying the country’s laws reserved five percent quota of government jobs for the disabled, but the provincial administration had been denying this.
Mohammad Asif, a blind, said he had been listening to presidential candidates since the campaign began earlier this month, but they did not say anything about the disabled persons.
A political science student at Balkh University, Mohammad Mukhtar, said people with disabilities were members of most families in Afghanistan because of the decades-long conflict. Each disabled person has the right to vote and their votes could help a candidate emerge victorious, the student said.
Meanwhile, in central Bamyan province, a large number of people with disabilities attended a gathering organised by civil society activists.
The disabled persons spoke about their problems and demands, which were later presented before the provincial council office.
Bamyan Social Centre official Mohammad Shafique told Pajhwok most of the proposals concerned human, women’s and disabled persons’ rights.
He said the government should make special arrangements for the disabled people to take part in the April elections, saying 30 percent people with disabilities had not been able to participate in the 2009 elections.
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