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March 7, 2016

Transvestites to file contempt petition against govt


March 7, 2016

Census issue

PESHAWAR: The transvestites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are going to file a contempt of court petition against the federal government for exclusion of the transgender people from the census form.

Farzana, president of the TransAction, an alliance working for the rights of transgender people in the province, told The News that by excluding them from the census form, the federal government had violated the Supreme Court decision.

According to the SC ruling passed in 2009, transgender people are entitled to all the rights guaranteed to other citizens in the Constitution. The ruling states that they should not be deprived of their legitimate rights, particularly the right of inheritance to all movable and immovable properties, and the right to adopt any profession.

Since the apex court ruling, members of the transgender community have been issued computerised national identity cards and passports with recognition as members of the third gender.

Farzana claimed that the government had first included a column for transgender people in the initial form for census, but now they have been excluded from it when the census is going to be launched.

“There are approximately 50,000 people who identify themselves as transgender in the province. We need to be included in the census to find out the exact number of transgender people,” she added.

Aminur Rehman Yousafzai, a senior high court lawyer, said that after the Supreme Court verdict, the transgender community have equal rights and thus excluding them from the census was violation of the apex court decision.

Qamar Naseem, coordinator for non-government organisation Blue Veins, said that deletion of transgender from the census form would affect the efforts being made for attaining equal rights for the marginalised community in the country.

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