ISLAMABAD: Feeling insecure and facing resource crunch transgender persons contesting general elections have started pulling out of the race.
On Thursday, one more transgender person, Resham, an independent candidate from Gujrnawala, quit the race to polls, reducing the tally to four from five in the country. As the goings get tough, chances are high that the number would further reduce in near future.
Addressing a press conference here at National Press Club transgender persons including Nadeem Kashish, Nayyab Ali, Maria Khan and Lubna Lal contesting elections shared their worries and challenges in entry to political fray.
They said that since they had announced contesting elections they are getting serious threats from rival parties and from influential people of their areas, “pressurising them to withdraw”.
On the occasion they demanded that the government provide them security and sought financial assistance from notables for running their election campaigns.
“Our opponents are using different means and mode of communication to threaten us and forcing us to withdraw,” said Nayyab Ali, a PTI-G candidate from Okara.
Moreover, she claimed that there are some people who fire gunshots in the air outside their houses in order to build pressure and scare them to quit.
“They are also making fake IDs on social media for defaming us,” she claimed. Due to this several transgender persons have felt that their lives are at risk and decided to back out, said Ali.
Ali added that though the government has provided us a platform for contesting polls, which is a positive sign, it has not provided security “like it has to candidates of political parties”.
On the other hand transgender persons who were issued party tickets by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-Gulalai (PTI-G) complain about the cold shoulder they received from the political party when it comes to running election campaign and providing financial support.
They also criticise about party members’ roughing them over minor issues.
“We do not have money to run our election campaigns then how can we think of hiring private security guards or getting weapon licenses for our security,” said Nadeem Kashish an independent candidate from NA-53.
Kashish said that Madam Rani from Mansehra who was issued a party ticket by PTI-G backed out after some influential people from her area uploaded her ‘objectionable’ and ‘photoshopped’ pictures on social media.
They blackmailed her and said they will only remove these pictures once she withdraws her nomination papers.
Kashish on behalf of transgender community appealed notables to come forward against influential people and help them in running their election campaigns.