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The Transaction Alliance, representing transgender and intersex community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), petitioned the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday to ensure transgenders are able to cast their votes as well as contest elections.

The application, filed on behalf of the president and general secretary of the alliance, requests the court to protect the fundamental rights of the community by directing the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to create new rules and forms which allow transgender candidates to contest elections and cast their votes as current rules do not define whether they can cast their votes in the male or female booths.

Transgender community has already been included in the census but their gender is mentioned as 'X' on the National Identity Cards (CNICs) according to court orders, which means that they cannot enter the female or male polling booths.

The petitioners requested the court to direct ECP to facilitate the transgender community, train their staff to be sensitive to the needs of the community, create a column for transgender and intersex community in nomination forms, formulate strategy to prevent harassment of transgenders at polling booths and ask the provincial election commissioner to engage with the community to find out about their needs and problems.

Until the case is decided, the court been asked to issue directions such that the election process is inclusive and "without any discrimination on the basis of sex and gender."

The Transaction Alliance is a group vocal against prevalent problems and violence faced by the transgender and intersex community in the province.