Disabilities, genetic problems, racial and gender discrimination prevent many in Pakistan from performing their roles as productive individuals. However, in the past years, many changes in the social policies have been made and people previously unable to do their due have been given a chance to come forward and contribute to the stability and prosperity of Pakistan. History was made when Yousaf Saleem was set to become the first blind judge in Pakistan.
Yousaf Saleem was a gold medalist from Punjab University in LLB and had topped the written judiciary exam among 6,500 students. He became one of the 21 candidates selected for interviews.Despite his amazing intellect, he hailed in the interview due to his blindness. This was one of acts of discrimination that undermines the potential of Pakistanis. This action was highlighted in the news and the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Saqib Nisar took suo moto notice of this issue. He said that a person can be a judge even if he is blind, if he meets other qualifications.
The thrill of dreams being fulfilled came when he received the letter of recommendation from the Lahore High Court on Saturday, recommending him for appointment as Civil Judge-cum-Magistrate. It said,
You are hereby informed that the Hon’ble Examination Committee for Recruitment of District Judiciary and Lahore High Court Establishment has recommended you for appointment as Civil Judge-cum-Magistrate.
It was the first step to realize his dreams. He said that official appointment will be preceded by some legal formalities while expressing gratitude for the CJP. He already has two visually impaired sisters contributing to Pakistan, one as a member of UN from Pakistan and the other as a lecturer in a university in Lahore. His attraction towards law came from the creator of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was a barrister. He said during an interview,
If you don’t believe in your dreams, no one will.
His being the first visually impaired judge in Pakistan gives other disabled people hope that someday their dreams may also come true. It is a sign that Pakistanis are now being selected for their abilities instead of being rejected for their disabilities.