APP81-05 ISLAMABAD: December 05 - Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage, Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb alongwith Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan H.E. Margaret Adamson in a group photo at an event to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. APP

ISLAMABAD, Dec 5 (APP): Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Marriyum Aurangzeb on Monday said the government believed in integrated and inclusive institutional framework for people with disabilities.

Speaking as chief guest at an event at the Australian High Commission to mark “International Day of Persons with Disabilities” here she said, “As a society we need to be more sensitive and inclusive towards people with disabilities.”

She called for change in attitude of the society towards the persons with disabilities and added that as only legislation could not bring the real change.

She said that under the PM’s educational reforms programme, some chapters would be included in curriculum to teach the young how to behave with the people with disabilities and this would make a big difference.

She said that the Prime Minister’s Educational Reform programme has an all inclusive approach sensitive to persons with disabilities.

The Minister said that the Government is institutionalizing inclusive policies in order to combat discriminatory nomenclature about persons with disabilities.

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Ramps should be constructed in all public and private buildings particularly with a view to address the issue of accessibility, the minister said.

She said Pakistan was keenly working to achieve the targets set in United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including the goals related to disabled persons.

Being the first in the world to have established a Parliamentary Sustainable Development Goals Secretariat, Pakistan is now considered to be in the UN’s good practice books.

Parliamentarians are working on legislation which could protect and ensure the accessibility facilitation of the people with disabilities through the efforts of the parliamentary Sustainable Development Goals secretariat, she said.

She said that National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) is issuing special ID cards for the disabled persons which would carry their complete data.

Responding to a question in the backdrop of devolution of power after 18th Amendment,the Minister of State emphasized the need to introduce a bill that could provide national cover and make it more inclusive and give a clear definition of disabled persons.

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Earlier, Australian High Commissioner Margaret Adamson said that the day was the occasion to celebrate the contributions people with a disability made to communities.

Celebrating this day challenges myths, builds awareness and pushes for action to improve inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities worldwide.

She said that Australia’s approach to disability inclusive development highlights the importance of respecting the dignity and human rights of people with disabilities and actively involving them across all sectors of various societies.

She also appreciated that Pakistan was one of the first countries to align itself with SDGs.

In the end a documentary “End the Cycle of Poverty and Disability” was shown to the audience.