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Transgenders want to be counted in census

Updated Oct 20, 2016 11:46am

ISLAMABAD: The transgender community has filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking an additional column for transvestites in the national census forms.

The petitioners, Umar, Nadeemul Zafar Khan and Safdar Hussain aka Pinki, Goori and Bijli respectively are among the seven persons who filed a petition for the registration of ‘transgender community” in the upcoming census.

Petitioners through their counsel Gul Rehman Mohmand and Saifullah Khan Advocates contended that if this community was not included in the census, this might exclude them from the national statistics.

Petitioners have cited secretaries establishment, interior, director general bureau of statistics, chairman National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and director general Ministry of Human Rights as respondents.

Petitioners adopted that being transgender persons, they were not respected by the society and even their parents’ did not own them due to social pressures and stigmas. Transgender community is socially isolated and forced to live in marginalized circumstances. But as a human being they equally deserve respect, honor and opportunities to excel.

Petitioners contended that the Supreme Court through a judgment had directed the authorities to provide Computerised National Identity Cards to the transgender citizens. Though the decision was implemented, the gender was not mentioned as desired by this community, the petition said.

Petitioners requested the court to direct the respondents to include a column in the census forms for the registration of transgender so as government could allocate resources according to their numbers.

Furthermore, Nadra may be directed to issue CNICs to the transgender community mentioning their gender, the petition said.

Petitioners also requested to direct the authorities to reserve job quota for them.

Published in Dawn October 20th, 2016