Lawyer with impaired vision out to prove himself | Pakistan Today

Lawyer with impaired vision out to prove himself

If anyone is disabled, there are two choices to make – either go for begging or stand up against all odds. Asad Mahmood Khokhar Advocate, 34, is also one of those rare people who have refused to be identified as a victim of the curse of being disabled and has made up his mind to make disability their power, setting aside his blindness as his weakness.
Asad, a resident of the Bari Imam area of the federal capital, has four brothers and one sister. His brother Waqas and sister Saima are also blind, while two of his brothers and parents are normal. When Asad was about five years old, he came to know about the bitter truth that darkness has turn out to be a part of his life. “But I did not allow darkness to ruin my life and in December 1984 I joined Al Maqtoom Special Education Centre for visually handicapped,” Asad recalled, while talking to Pakistan Today.
“The attitude of the society towards blind people is very discouraging, but they will have to accept our rights,” Asad said, adding, “The rights of the people with an impaired vision are no different from those having normal sight. We want a happy childhood, good education, a satisfying job, a complete family life, enjoyable leisure and social activities, and the chance to take a full part in public life. We want respect, esteem, affection (if we deserve it), but above all recognition that we are citizens with full civil and human rights.” “In April1993, I heard the case of Nawaz Sharif versus Federation of Pakistan in which the prominent lawyers, including Khalid Anwar and SM Zafar, argued before the Supreme Court. That was the day when I decided to become a lawyer.” “No one was ready to accept me as a lawyer in 2005, but my senior Raja Rizwan Abbasi Advocate provided me a chance to work with him.”
A white cane is more helpful to Asad and many others handicapped by impaired vision than humans. A white cane is used by many people who are visually impaired, both as a mobility tool and as a courtesy to others. “It is the main support for me and has become my body part,” he said, adding that modern technologies like mobile phone had been very helpful to the handicapped. Although Asad was not ready to show that he was needed any help from government authorities, but on insistence he said that last year in April, former law minister Senator Babar Awan announced an aid of Rs 100,000 for the disabled lawyers, he did not receive even a single rupee so far. Asad uses public transport to visit the courts and other daily affairs. Sharing some of the issues being faced by him during traveling, he said, “I can’t see. I don’t know what’s going on. So I don’t panic fast. The traffic sees me; I don’t see the traffic,” he added with a laugh.
More seriously though, he admits that he is usually alert and cautious. “I don’t rush. When I tap and there’s a vibration, I can more or less detect what’s there.” He only worries when he goes to strange places or has to travel along roads that are narrow, bumpy and have no pavements, or encounters obstacles thrown around by inconsiderate people.
“The civic body and even the citizens should take care of disables rights. Most of the people usually park their vehicles on pavements, which create numerous problems for me and others like me,” Asad said in disappointing mood.



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