KARACHI      -    Suspending its all other business, the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed ‘The Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019, enabling the hearing impaired persons to get driving licence.

Pakistan Association of Deaf representatives and several members were also present in the assembly to witness the historic moment. They also thanked the lawmakers for paving the way for them getting driving licence. “The applicant having up to 40 DB hearing loss shall wear hearing aids and in case the hearing loss exceeds 40 DB, the applicant shall use assistive technology device,” read the bill.

Ghanwer Ali Khan Isran, the Pakistan People’s Party lawmaker who was also the member of the standing committee that thoroughly discussed the bill, said that the hearing impaired drivers would also be given special stickers to install it on back of their vehicles so that other people could aware the car was driven by an hearing impaired person.

Sindh Minister for Health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuhu termed it a ‘landmark day’ as the hearing impaired persons would not have to rely on someone else and commute themselves. She also hailed the Chief Minister Advisor on programme related o differently-abled Persons Qasim Naveed and said that he had done in this legislation.

Opposition Leader Firdaus Shamim Naqvi urged that the bill should be implemented at the earliest and its rules of business should be formed within 45 days. “We had made good legislation in the past but the same was not implemented as yet,” he regretted.

Naqvi also suggested no fee should be charged from hearing impaired persons as well as a special desk should be formed at driving licence offices where the staff could understand sign language of hearing impaired persons.

Javed Hanif of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan said that it was a proud moment for him that he was too part of the assembly that did a wonderful legislation. “Not only hearing impaired persons but other differently-abled people should be facilitated in every sector of the life and this should be a continuous process,” he added.

Minister for Women Development Syeda Shehla Raza said that his party had taken steps for the betterment of people of every walk of the life. “We have amended the words defect or disability with differently-abled persons and they should be called the same,” she added.

PMDC dissolution condemned

Separately, Syeda Marvi Faseeh of the Pakistan People’s Party presented a resolution to condemn the federal government act of dissolving Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and forming another body Pakistan Medical Council (PMC).

Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuhu said that the federal government didn’t take them on the board, adding that the decision should have been taken at Council of Common Interest with consultation of all provinces. The PTI’s Dr Imran Ali Shah while trying to defend his federal government said that the PMDC was not facilitating the overseas Pakistani doctors who wanted to serve their country, adding that there were many other flaws in the PMDC. The resolution however was adopted with majority of the votes.

Baba Guru Nanak paid tribute

The house also unanimously adopted a resolution tabled by Nand Kumar Goklani of the Grand Democratic Alliance to pay tribute to Baba Guru Nanak on his 550th birth anniversary.

NAB interference

Sindh Minister for Information, Archives and Labor Saeed Ghani alleged that the Director of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Sukkur through the officers of his department was threatening him and said him ‘be prepared for surprise’.  He said that NAB was interfering in the affairs of his department ‘illegally and without any concrete reason’. He said that the officers of the NAB were forcing the officers of his department to act as they wished.

“Workers Welfare Board flats and marriage support cheques—which had to disrobed by the department—were forcibly distributed by Chairman National Accountability Bureau Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal in a ceremony held in Sukkur on October 31st. They have no legal right to interfere in the department’s affairs.

The NAB should take stern action, if there is any malpractice in disruption of flats and marriage support cheques amongst the needy employees,” the minister added.