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June 14, 2018

Transgender persons unveil charter of demands for general election


June 14, 2018

PESHAWAR: The All Pakistan Transgender Election Network (APTEN) on Wednesday launched manifesto and charter of demands for general election 2018 amid life threats to transgender candidates by the opponents.

The manifesto and charter of demands were launched at a joint press conference here at Peshawar Press Club. Candidates of transgender community from Punjab province including Nayyab Ali, Lubna Lal and Seemi Shehzadi and KP attended the press conference.

Qamar Naseem, a transgender rights activist and program coordinator for the Blue Veins, a nonprofit organization in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa working for the empowerment of transgender community, said All APTEN released its charter of demand for general election 2018 as APTEN found that transgender leaders remain close to invisible in the electoral processes at all levels in Pakistan.

He said that APTEN was formed to challenge the invisibility of transgender persons from the political and electoral process of Pakistan by TransAction, Sindh Transgender Welfare Network, Balochistan Alliance for Transgender and Intersex Community and Punjab Transgender Foundation.

“The passing of The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 calls for effective political and governmental commitments for the equitable and expeditious inclusion of transgender persons in electoral and democratization processes, elections and towards long-term development planning at all levels. We call upon the government to ensure that transgender community in Pakistan has access to and enjoys its fundamental and constitutional rights without fear, stigma or discrimination,” he added.

Nayab Ali, focal person of APTEN in Punjab and candidate for the National Assembly NA-142 from Okara by the PTI-Gulalai party, said that participation in political and public life is a critical element of socially inclusive development, along with the realization of human rights. “Participation of transgender community in the public and political life can be an important mean to give them a voice and enable them to take part and have a voice in decisions that affect their life, their community and country,” she went on to say.

Nayab Ali said that she was facing life threats from rival candidates of both PML-N and PTI, forcing her to withdraw the nomination papers.

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