Young Pakistani all set to become first visually impaired judge

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Yousaf Saleem, a visually-impaired young Pakistani, is all set to become country’s first-ever civil judge and vows to serve the society despite all the physical and societal challenges. (AN photo)
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Yousaf Saleem, a visually-impaired young Pakistani, is all set to become country’s first-ever civil judge and vows to serve the society despite all the physical and societal challenges. (AN photo)
Updated 14 May 2018
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Young Pakistani all set to become first visually impaired judge

  • Saleem is a brother of four sisters of which two are also visually-impaired
  • I have come here through my struggle and hard work, and I’m sure I’ll go places, says Salim

ISLAMABAD: A visually challenged young Pakistani, Yousuf Salim, was all set to become the first visually impaired judge in the country’s history as he received his recommendation for appointment of civil judge last Saturday.
The dream of the 25-year-old Punjab University gold medalist to become a judge is about to be fulfilled as the differently-abled man vows to deal with all challenges of life with determination and courage.
“Honourable examination committee for recruitment of district judiciary and Lahore High Court Establishment has recommended you for appointment as civil judge-cum-magistrate,” said the recommendation letter that Salim received and proudly shared with his friends and family members.
“I always wanted to become a judge and thank God my dream is finally coming true,” he told Arab News in an interview, adding that some formalities may take two to three weeks before he assumes the office.
Salim, a resident of Lahore, had topped the written judiciary examination among 6,500 candidates and he was among 21 candidates who qualified for the job interview, but was never selected because of his visual impairment.

Yousaf Saleem, a visually-impaired young Pakistani, is all set to become country’s first-ever civil judge and vows to serve the society despite all the physical and societal challenges. (AN photo)

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the issue after it was highlighted in local media and directed the chief justice of Lahore High Court to review the case. Nisar remarked that a person could be a judge even if he is visually impaired, provided he meets all other criteria.
“I hope and pray that my appointment as a civil judge will serve as an inspiration for all differently abled persons in Pakistan and they will always do their best to achieve their goals,” he said while thanking the chief justice.
He said he had faced a lot of challenges in life, especially during his studies, but he never gave up. “Challenges and difficulties in fact always prove as a source of motivation for me,” he said, adding that being visually impaired, he has to put in extra effort to prove himself, and this has made him a “strong man.”
Salim is son of a chartered accountant and brother of four sisters, two of whom are also visually impaired. None of them let physical disability get in their way and proved themselves in different fields of life through commitment and hard work.
One of his visually challenged sisters, Saima Salim, joined the civil service of Pakistan in 2007 and has served in Pakistan’s United Nations missions in Geneva and New York. She is now posted in the Prime Minister Secretariat as deputy secretary.
His other visually impaired sister teaches at a university in Lahore and is also doing her PhD.
Salim said society needs to overcome misconceptions about the differently abled persons and help them become useful citizens of Pakistan instead of making them an outcast.
“I have come here through my struggle and hard work, and I’m sure I’ll go places,” said Salim, who is determined to serve society despite all the physical and societal challenges.


French police clear fuel protesters as movement wanes

Updated 21 November 2018
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French police clear fuel protesters as movement wanes

PARIS: French police cleared demonstrators blocking roads and fuel depots Tuesday in a crackdown on the so-called "yellow vest" protests against President Emmanuel Macron that have left two people dead.
Hundreds of thousands of people blockaded roads across France on the weekend, wearing high-visibility yellow vests in a national wave of defiance aimed at 40-year-old centrist Macron.
The protests had waned by Tuesday but the disruption underlined the anger and frustration felt by many motorists, particularly in rural areas or small towns, fed up with what they see as the government's anti-car policies, including tax hikes on diesel.
Macron, who has made a point of not backing down in the face of public pressure during his time in office, called Tuesday for more "dialogue" to better explain his policies.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, meanwhile, urged ruling Republic On The Move lawmakers to stand firm in the face of voter criticism, saying the party would reap the rewards of its "constancy and determination".
Two people have been accidentally killed and 530 people injured, 17 seriously, over four days of protests that have come to encompass a wide variety of grievances over the rising cost of living.
A 37-year-old motorcyclist died Tuesday from injuries sustained a day earlier after being hit by a truck making a u-turn to avoid a roadblock in the southeast Drome region, a judicial source said.
The other victim was a 63-year-old woman accidently killed by a panicked driver in the eastern Savoie region on the first day of protests.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has instructed police to break up the remaining roadblocks, particularly those around fuel depots and sites of strategic importance.
"We can see today that there are real excesses from a movement that was for the most part conducted in good spirit on Saturday," he told France 2 TV.
The ministry said about 20 "strategic" sites and fuel depots in several regions were cleared of protesters Tuesday.
Some hardliners kept blockades and slowdowns at some tolls, motorway junctions, and roundabouts.
"The movement won't run out of steam," said Olivier Garrigues, a farmworker at one protest in the south. "There are less people because everyone is working. But we are organised."
Several of the injuries were caused by motorists trying to force their way through roadblocks, but some protesters have also been accused of intimidating and endangering motorists.
A 32-year-old man with a history of violence was given a four-month prison sentence by a Strasbourg court for putting lives at risk by taking part in a human chain across a motorway.
Protests have also erupted in Reunion, a French overseas territory island in the Indian Ocean, where authorities introduced a partial curfew in some neighbourhoods after a night of violence.
AFP judicial sources Tuesday denied media reports that a group of men arrested earlier this month in the city of Saint-Etienne on suspicion of plotting an attack had planned to strike during Saturday's fuel protests.
On Tuesday, the "yellow vests" appeared to be losing steam, with only a fraction of the nearly 300,000 people that manned the barricades on Saturday still camped out in the bitter cold.
Further protests are planned for the weekend, with some calling for a blockade of Paris.
The grassroots movement, which has won backing from opposition parties on both the left and right as well as a majority of respondents in opinion polls, accuses Macron of squeezing the less well-off while reducing taxes for the rich.
"It's about much more than fuel. They (the government) have left us with nothing," Dominique, a 50-year-old unemployed technician told AFP at a roadblock in the town of Martigues, near the southern city of Marseille.
Macron's government, trying to improve its environmental credentials, has vowed not to back down on trying to wean people off their cars through fuel taxes.
The government has unveiled a 500-million-euro package of measures to help low-income households, including energy subsidies and higher scrappage bonuses for the purchase of cleaner vehicles.