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Govt asked to protect rights of transgender persons

February 13, 2019

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Office-bearers of TransAction, the association of transgender community, addresses mediapersons at Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday. — White Star
Office-bearers of TransAction, the association of transgender community, addresses mediapersons at Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday. — White Star

PESHAWAR, Feb12: The representatives of different civil society organisations have demanded of the government to protect the rights of transgender persons.

They asked the government to implement Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 in letter and spirit. Addressing a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday, provincial general secretary of TransAction Arzoo said that police were reluctant to follow the law regarding protection and welfare of the transgender persons.

She said that one of their community persons Sheeba Khan wanted to celebrate her birthday but district police officer of Charsadda did not allow them to hold the party. “We had obtained permission from the deputy commissioner but the DPO denied giving us permission,” she added.

The leader of transgender persons said that they had given Rs25,000 to the SHO of Prang, Charsadda for obtaining permission but he did not cooperate with them. She said that the DPO expressed ignorance from the law on protection of transgender persons.

“If police officers are not aware of the law, then what to say of other people,” said Arzoo. She said that a committee was formed in the past and CCPO Qazi Jameelur Rehman had promised to protect the rights of transgender persons but nothing substantial was done in that regard.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network coordinator Taimoor Kamal said on the occasion that police did not permit the transgender persons to hold the event on the pretext that some religious political parties in the area were opposed to music shows and such functions.

He criticised police for their role and called for implementation of Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 that ensured non-discrimination against the community members in educational institutions and hospitals. Mr Kamal said that transgender persons were peaceful people.

He demanded of the chief justice of Supreme Court to take notice of the situation and order action against the police officials concerned.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2019