Negotiations between the protesting visually-impaired people and the government ended on Thursday with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
On Wednesday night, differences had arisen among the protesters after their talks with the government. One faction had accepted the government’s offer of provision of jobs in three months. The second group had maintained that the protest should not be called off until a notification was issued by the government in this regard.
Consequently, around 50 people returned to the metro bus track on Ferozepur Road on Thursday.
The blockage created severe problems for metro bus commuters.
Lahore commissioner Abdullah Sumbal, Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Minister Tahir Khalil Sindhu and the Lahore DCO talked to the protesters next. They invited them to the Town Hall for negotiations.
They were taken to the Town Hall in two buses. The talks continued for two hours. After getting a written agreement, the blind persons announced they were ending their protest.
Omar Rasheed, who was part of the negotiating committee, told The Express Tribune that they had called off the protest after being assured that lists of the jobless blind people would be prepared within two days. “Appointment letters will be given to all blind job seekers according to their qualification,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2015.
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