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Transgender persons move court for column in census form, CNIC

September 06, 2016


A human rights activist addressing a press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Monday along with leaders of transgender community. — Online
A human rights activist addressing a press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Monday along with leaders of transgender community. — Online

PESHAWAR: The transgender community on Monday moved the Peshawar High Court against the government for not creating a column in the national census form and computerised national identity card for its members and threatened agitation on the matter.

Accompanied by civil society activists, Trans Action Alliance, KP chapter, president Farzana Jan told reporters at the Peshawar Press Club that the alliance had submitted a petition with the Peshawar High Court against the provincial and federal government for neglecting the community in the process of national census.

She said since both KP and federal governments were disinterested in providing protection and basic rights to transgender persons, the latter had decided to move the court to claim rights.

“We have filed a petition with the high court under Article 199 of the Constitution against both governments. In the petition, we’ve sought orders for the halt to national census until we (transgender community) are included in the census form,” she said.

Claim both KP, centre disinterested in giving them rights, protection

Farzana Jan said the petition had also sought the provision of computerised national identity cards (CNICs) to transgender persons in line with the Supreme Court orders.

She said the community had been demanding of the government for six months to make a special column for its persons in census form, but to no avail.

TAA general secretary Arzo, who was also in attendance, said the provincial government had promised to support the transgender community both financially and morally six months ago but the promise later turned out to be false.

She said the successive governments didn’t take her community’s problems seriously, so they decided to move the court for relief.

“Moving the high court is the first step towards the creation of a column for our community members in the census form and CNICs. We will take more steps to claim constitutional and basic rights,” said transgender person Paro.

She said besides promoting inclusion, participation and individuality, the government should also empower and educate all people regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or religion.

Human rights activist Qamar Naseem said the country should be based on universally acceptable standards of human rights.

Coordinator of the Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network Taimur Kamal said the civil society was striving to addressing inequalities and discrimination affecting transgender persons.

He said provision of rights to transgender community like other parts of society should be ensured by all means.

Mr. Kamal said the government had formed a committee to resolve the issues of transgender community in last June but ironically, the committee hadn’t met once.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2016