By WASIM IQBAL
ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate on Thursday asked the government to explain in the Senate on Tuesday the reports of death of a Pakistani transgender allegedly in police custody in Saudi Arabia early this month.
Raising it on a point of pubic importance PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said the transgender belonged to Swat KPK and his family was agitating against the death in custody in Saudi Arabia. He said that although reports had surfaced some days back but he did not raise it and was waiting for more information.
He said that it was a serious matter involving the basic right to life of Pakistani national and the least the government should do is to formally take it up with Saudi authorities and find out the facts.
Not taking notice of the reports amounts to abdication of responsibility towards our nationals in foreign lands, he said and called for referring the matter to the Human Rights Committee or Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate.
He said that according to reports initially 35 Pakistani transgender had been arrested late last month out of which 29were released while the rest are still in jail.
He said that while one respected the sovereign right of a foreign government to uphold its laws it was also our responsibility to take up the matter with the Saudi government and ensure that a Pakistani was not deprived of life unlawfully and with impunity.
Chairman Raza Rabbani directed that the verbatim record of the speech the Senator be sent to the Foreign Office with direction to clarify the issue in the Senate on Tuesday next.
On another issue Senator Babar questioned the continued closure of Pak-Afghan border for the past several weeks and said that apart from being illogical it was now hurting the economic interests of traders and businessmen of KPK.
He said that it did not stand to reason that the borders had been closed because the militants were infiltrating through the Torkham border.
There are over 260 crossing points along the border and asked why would militants choose to enter through regular check posts.
He said that it was ironic that the border was sealed just when the Prime Minister was pleading connectivity and trade at the ECO summit in Islamabad.
It only shows serious disconnect somewhere. We may claim state institutions being on ‘same page’ but they do not appear to be in the same book, let alone being on the same page and called for revisiting Afghani policy.
The Express Tribune: In Saudi custody: Transgender killing taken up in Senate