Young Pakistani all set to become first visually impaired judge

1 / 2
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)
2 / 2
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
0

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.


Philippines warns journalists out to ‘destroy’ Duterte

Updated 9 min 27 sec ago
0

Philippines warns journalists out to ‘destroy’ Duterte

  • The warning followed recent local news reports alleging the Duterte family's involvement in illegal drugs
  • Panelo said the government has "never stifled dissent in this country"

MANILA: The Philippine government on Monday warned the press against plotting to "destroy" President Rodrigo Duterte's government, as his spokesman accused journalists of spreading fake news.
The warning followed recent local news reports alleging the Duterte family's involvement in illegal drugs and raising questions about a large increase in his wealth.
"They are all there doing their thing, trying to destroy this government by spreading false news and planting intrigues against the government," Duterte spokesman Salvador Panelo told a news conference.
He released a graphic which he said showed how a video of a hooded man alleging the Duterte family's role in the narcotics trade was shared by one journalist to colleagues employed by other Philippine news outfits.
The news organizations named have all reported extensively on Duterte's crackdown against illegal drugs that has left more than 5,000 suspects dead at the hands of the police in what rights groups have said may be a crime against humanity.
Panelo said the ouster allegations were based on information shared by a foreign intelligence agency which he would not name.
"In other words, what these people are doing is to give succour or assist the enemy, if they are not the enemy themselves," Panelo said.
Last week Duterte publicly lashed out at the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), which published a report about the rise in the president's net worth.
"In the coming weeks, I will return the favour. So Philippine Investigative, you better stop," Duterte said.
Panelo said Monday the Duterte government was putting these journalists and news outfits on notice but would not pursue legal action against them "for now".
"But if the plot thickens and they perform acts which are already violation(s) of the penal laws, that's a different story," Panelo added.
The comments came weeks after the government twice briefly detained Maria Ressa, chief executive of the online news site Rappler over tax evasion, securities fraud and other charges.
Panelo named Ressa and Rappler, PCIJ, and Vera Files, among others, in the list of news organisations allegedly plotting against Duterte.
He accused Ellen Tordesillas, the Vera Files president, of spreading the video clip alleging Duterte family involvement in the narcotics trade.
Ressa, tweeting about the ouster allegations, called them "ludicrous" and "yet another (presidential) palace ploy to harass journalists".
Panelo said the government has "never stifled dissent in this country".
Tordesillas called the supposed ouster plot "downright false", while PCIJ has said its reports were all based on documents issued by Duterte himself in his required annual filings on assets and liabilities.
Duterte in previous years has also lashed out at other critical media outfits, including the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper and broadcaster ABS-CBN.
He threatened to go after their owners over alleged unpaid taxes or block the network's franchise renewal application.