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First blind judge of Pakistan ready to make history
By Tariq Butt May 13, 2018
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ISLAMABAD: Yousaf Saleem is set to become the first blind judge in Pakistan, said a report.

Saleem, who was earlier dropped for being blind, has been reconsidered and recommended for the position of the civil judge after intervention by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.

A gold medalist of the Punjab University in LLB (Honors), Saleem had topped the written judiciary exam among 6,500 candidates. He was amongst 21 candidates, who qualified for interview. However, he failed in interview as he was blind.

The chief justice had taken suo motu notice of a news report and observed that a person could be a judge even if he is blind, provided he meets all other qualifications.

He referred the matter to the chief justice Lahore High Court and the relevant selection committee directing them to reconsider the case and "give a speaking opinion.”

Saleem’s prayers were finally answered when he received a letter from the LHC that reads: "You are hereby informed that the Examination Committee for Recruitment of District Judiciary and LHC Establishment has recommended you for appointment as Civil Judge-cum-Magistrate.”

Saleem thanked the chief justice for taking notice of the situation and the chief justice of LHC and selection committee for reconsidering his case.

While he is going to be the first blind judge in Pakistan, there are numerous examples of visually-impaired judges in other countries.

Son of a chartered accountant, Saleem is blind by birth. He has four sisters of which two are also blind. None of them accepted disability as fate and proved worth through the ability they possess.

Saima, the first blind person who did CSS in 2007 is his sister. A gold medalist in English from Kinnaird College, Saima had scored the sixth position and opted for the Foreign Service.

She was posted in Pakistan’s UN missions in Geneva and New York. Right now, she is in the Prime Minister Secretariat working as deputy secretary.

Saleem’s another blind sister teaches at a university in Lahore and is also doing her PhD. Yousaf is the youngest among siblings.

He has though lost vision, he has not lost sight of his dreams. He wants to become the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

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