About

What is PAIE?

Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections (PAIE) is a network primarily consisting of Disabled Persons’ Organizations (DPOs) with interest to work on inclusive elections. PAIE brings together likeminded DPOs and mainstream organizations for strengthening democratic rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs). PAIE aims at making Pakistan’s electoral systems inclusive for PWDs and responsive to their special needs.

Objectives

Inclusive electoral systems

Accessible and inclusive elections

Capacity building of DPOs

Mainstreaming persons with disabilities in elections

Values

Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections (PAIE) upholds the principles of Inclusiveness and participation of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in electoral processes for free, fair & transparent elections.

What will PAIE do?

The Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections has been formed with a vision to transform the electoral and democratic regime in Pakistan to be inclusive and conducive. PAIE means to bring all DPOs and other mainstream organizations working for the rights of persons with disabilities to be part of the network. It aspires to create capacity building and work opportunities for the member organizations with a specific focus on mainstreaming the persons with disabilities in the democratic and electoral regime in Pakistan.

The alliance will:

  • Generate and gather evidences on disability inclusive electoral environment
  • Develop close working relationship with the ECP and other stakeholders
  • Operate as an organizational development incubator for DPOs on issues related to elections and democracy

Introduction

Like most of the underdeveloped and developing countries, life of persons with disabilities is not very easy, even in Pakistan. Generally, they are looked upon with pity and disgust, felt as a burden on the family and an at-times considered as mean of punishment of the rest of the family members for their sins. At the societal level the same sentiment of pity and sympathy prevails and they face discrimination in every walk of life. Full and active participation of persons with disabilities in the electoral processes is one of the key areas where. This is clearly evident by the fact that there is not a single person with disability in the community of parliamentarians. In addition, PWDs as voters also face numerous problems to cast their votes and be part of electoral processes in pre and post-election times. There has always been a lack of will to include persons with disabilities; a recent example of this is government’s refusal to include PWDs in the national census. The estimates of number of persons with disabilities in Pakistan also vary from 2% to 15% of the population.

Center for Peace and Development Initiatives has taken lead by forming Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections consisting of likeminded DPOs and mainstream organizations in the country. CPDI, in the past has been engaged in projects related to election observation and voter/civic education. This initiative will have an exclusive focus on promoting PWDs in electoral systems of Pakistan as voters as well as candidates. The Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections, as a subsidiary of the CPDI, will target to influence the electoral policy, planning and implementation to make it more inclusive helping to mainstream the PWDs in the electoral processes. PAIE at its inception, consists of seven members, CPDI being the secretariat. Establishment of this network will also kindle realization among the people about exclusion of this marginalized group from the power corridors of this country. DPOs that are part of this network from the inception include Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP), Pakistan Youth Federation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (PYFDH), True Sight organization for the Blind (TSOB), Pakistan Foundation Fighting Blindness (PFFB), Development of Disabled People Organization (DDPO) and Potohar Mental Health Association (PMHA). PAIE intends to work on the envisaged goals and objectives with the help of member organizations. Following is a crisp introduction of the founder organizations of PAIE;