Trans people fear being barred from coming elections

SC approached against halt to trans’ registration under X category

Peshawar   -  While general elections are being discussed in the country, transgender persons say they are facing an identity crisis as the government has stopped their registration under the X category, which means some of them might not get national ID cards and hence not be able to vote in elections.

Speaking to The Nation, a civil society activist Taimur Kamal said that those trans persons whose ID card has expired, would also not be able to cast their votes if their registration remains suspended under the X category.

According to a notification issued by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), the Federal Shariat Court has ceased the operation of Transgender Persons Protection Act, 2018, and Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020.

It directed the staff to cease the transgender persons’ registration (under X category) and only process the registration of male and female categories.

Kamal also said that the community also faces problems in enlisting themselves for compensation in cases of damages like floods during the ongoing monsoon season or Ehsaas program stipends.

In 2018, Pakistan’s National Assembly passed a Transgender Persons Protection Act, but this law was opposed by various circles. Under the 2018 law, the government started registering trans persons under the X category in national records, while males and females were represented by the symbols M and F, respectively.

Meanwhile, Director of the Transgender Rights Consultants Pakistan Nayab Ali told this correspondent that they have already filed a case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the hearing would also be held shortly.

“I and Farhatullah Babar have approached the Supreme Court. It is unfair that our community’s registration has been stopped. I believe that the transgender act must be in force till this case is decided,” she added.

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