Waziristan’s physically-challenged people protest in Islamabad

Minute Mirror - Subscribe
Minute Mirror - Subscribe

The protest dharna organized by the Pashtun Disabled Federation (PDF) of South Waziristan has been ongoing for several days outside the National Press Club in Islamabad.

Ghiyasuddin, the spokesperson for the sit-in, stated that 43 disabled individuals are participating, including 10 landmine victims, five gunshot victims, three visually impaired individuals, three hearing and speech impaired individuals, three mentally disabled individuals, and four individuals in wheelchairs. Among them, 15 are polio victims.

According to the spokesperson, they have five demands. They are calling for the establishment of stipends for disabled individuals, restoration of job quotas for them, inclusion in the Benazir Income Support and Ehsaas programs, and a fair share in development schemes.

The sit-in in Islamabad reached its seventh day on Sunday, following a four-day protest at D Chowk where no government official met them. However, they have been holding meetings with political figures at the press club. On Sunday, Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM) Islamabad President Kamran Khan met with the sit-in participants.

Furthermore, Faisal Karim Kundi, a leader of the People’s Party and advisor to the Prime Minister, visited their camp this morning. He not only provided support by arranging their tent but also assured them of fulfilling their demands.

A delegation from the National Democratic Movement (NDM) also joined the protest camp. The delegation included Tariq Wazir, a member of the NDM central organizing committee, Ismail Mehsud, a central leader, Zubair Dawar, a member of the National Students Movement central planning committee, and Qudratullah Wazir and Muhammad Yar Wazir.

The NDM delegation expressed solidarity with the sit-in participants and pledged to raise the demands of disabled individuals at every available platform.