QUETTA: The Balochistan Assembly has adopted a resolution unanimously calling upon the provincial government to plead with Islamabad to declare the Transgender Act of 2018 null and void in deference to the religious parties.

The resolution was moved by Asghar Ali Tareen, a JUI-F member. The session, held on Saturday night, was presided over by Deputy Speaker Sardar Babar Khan Musakhail.

The resolution termed the Transgender Person (Protection of Rights Act) against recommendations of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII).

The council had termed the act against Islamic injunctions, a member said.

“Ulema belonging to all schools of thought have not only condemned the controversial law as against the Sharia but also termed it a move to promote homosexuality,” the resolution said.

Article 277 of the Constitution stipulates that no anti-Sharia law can be made, the resolution added.

Malik Sikander Khan, the opposition leader in the provincial assembly, deplored the transgender act and termed it against traditions.

He said the Constitution was the best protector of the rights of transgender persons.

“They not only enjoy fundamental rights but are also entitled to a share in family property,” Malik Sikander added.

No law can be made against Islamic values and before introducing any law, it is imperative for the legislature to send the draft to the CII for its opinion, the MPA observed.

“But unfortunately the government did not follow this procedure.”

He described the transgender act as an attack on Sharia and expressed apprehensions the law would “open the floodgates to homosexuality”.

“The nation will never accept such un-Islamic laws and all such attempts will be foiled with full force.”

Asghar Tareen, the resolution’s mover, termed the law a conspiracy against Islam. “This act was adopted in haste at a time when legislators were preparing for the (2018) general election,” he recalled.

The Council of Islamic Ideology had not recommended passage of the bill, he said, calling upon the government to repeal “this heinous law forthwith”.

Shakeela Naved Dehwar of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal, however, saw nothing objectionable in the transgender act, arguing there was no provision for change of gender in the law.

“Transgender persons are human beings and have a right to lead lives of dignity, to compete for jobs, to get education and have access to health facilities,” she said.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2022

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