BARA: Disabled persons in PK-107 constituency of Khyber tribal district are staying away from the voting process in tribal districts’ elections over indifference of political parties and candidates towards their problems.

Fata Disabled Persons Association General Secretary Noorshed said while talking to TNN at his office in Bara that several political parties and independent candidates are taking part in elections and they held extensive campaigns to garner support of voters, but none of them came to the disabled persons to inquire about their problems. He said the problems of the disabled persons could not find place in the manifesto of any political party or the programme of the independent candidates.

Noorshed said the disabled persons are presenting their genuine demands since long, but no one is paying heed to their problems. He said the basic demands of the disabled persons include monthly stipend, increase of quota from 2 to 5 percent in government departments, free education for children and establishment of skill centre etc. He said the elected representatives from tribal districts never paid any heed to the problems of handicapped persons.

Noorshed said there are over 5,000 registered disabled persons with his organisation and most of them are jobless.

Two days ago, Abdullah Shah, president of Fata Disabled Persons Association, said while talking to TNN that candidates from various backgrounds initiated electioneering soon after the end of the holy month of Ramazan, but not a single candidate came to the disabled persons to inquire about their problems.

Abdullah Shah lamented that all the candidates focused their attention on winning the elections by any means and they were least bothered about the difficulties faced by handicapped persons. He said the office of Fata Disabled Persons Association is situated near the press club building in Bara and politicians regularly visit the press club to gain media coverage, but they could not spare even little time to inquire about the handicapped people.

“Election candidates are not coming to us before elections and there is no chance that they will resolve our problems after elections,” he said.

Disabled persons often raise voice for their rights and make demands for basic rights like free of cost education, healthcare and jobs, but their demands are often not met.