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March 2, 2016

Column for transgender deleted from census form

Peshawar

March 2, 2016

PESHAWAR: Various non-governmental organisations on Tuesday expressed concern and disappointment over the exclusion of transgender from the census form.

Speaking at a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club, president of TransAction, an alliance working for the rights of transgender, Farzana, said the government had included a column for transgender in the initial form for census.

She said that now the column had been deleted from the form. “There is no mention of transgender in the new form for census,” she added.Paro, another transgender activist, said the decision was violation of the verdict of the Superior Court of Pakistan issued in 2012.

She said that a bench of the apex court presided over by the then Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had issued a decision that transgender should be given equal basic rights.

“The verdict said transgender should be given equal inheritance and job opportunity rights, amongst others,” she added.She said that the government had started issuing computerized national identity cards to transgender in the light of the decision.

She announced to move to the Peshawar High Court against the exclusion of the transgender from census.

Qamar Naseem, coordinator for Blue Veins, said the deletion would affect the efforts being made for attaining equal rights for the most pitiable community in Pakistan. Taimur Kamal, coordinator for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network, said the inequalities and discrimination against transgender should be stopped now. Zar Ali Khan of the Fata Commission for Human Rights said that transgender were a reality and the government should accept their existence by giving them equal rights.

 

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