ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) has directed the federal government and provinces to discontinue using the words “disabled,” “physically handicapped” and “mentally retarded” for people with different abilities, reported a local news outlet.
The apex court released its detailed judgment here on Saturday in which they commented that these words deeply affect and offend the human dignity of people with different disabilities.
The court (SC) instructed both federal and provincial governments to immediately discontinue the use of these words in official correspondence, directives, notifications, and circulars and alternatively either use “persons with disabilities” or “persons with different abilities”.
The petitioner said that he had applied for the post of senior elementary school educator (Arabic) following an advertisement put out by the education department, local government, Multan, but he was not appointed on the disability quota.
“Pakistan’s Constitution, as a whole, does not distinguish between a person with or without disabilities. It recognizes the inherent dignity of a human being; equal and inalienable rights of all the people as the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace,” the court said.
“Every person is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind. It, therefore, applies equally to persons with disabilities, guaranteeing them the full enjoyment of their fundamental rights without discrimination,” read a 12-page verdict.