Islamabad: Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights and Islamic Ideology Council (IIC) on Wednesday agreed to the recognition of transgender person as per his or her self-perceived gender identity declared in the Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC).
While presenting the CII stance before the committee members, Director General Research, CII, Dr. Inam Ul Haq said that medical board can be created on the court orders in case of any legal issue. “In inheritance cases, the share could be determined after medical examination on court orders,” he said. Inam Ul Haq said that CII has a clear stance on this issue and formal approval of the stance would be issued after approval of CII meeting to be held on February 8.
The members were discussing the “The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2017, moved by Senators Rubina Khalid, Rubina Irfan, Samina Saeed and Kalsoom Parveen. Mover of the bill, Senator Rubina Khalid said that transgender community is deprived of their rights so it is imperative to pass the bill for their protection. She said that those who are demanding medical test for all transgender community members shall also propose medical test for men and women to prove their identity.
She said that special privileges for transgender community like job quota or education quota has already been removed from the bill. “There is no special privilege for them in this legislation. The law would only protect their fundamental rights,” said Rubina.
Senator Farhat Ullah Babur gave example of Khaber Pakhtunkhwa government saying that the provincial government issued health cards to transgender community members on the basis of the their declared identity. “However, if anyone challenges their gender, the medical board can be constituted on court orders. Same rule can be applied in the federal law,” he said.
He said the KP government announced medical facility of up to Rs 500000 and issued 1,000 health cards for them which were disbursed on the basis of their identity mentioned on their CNIC. Besides that soft loans up to Rs 10,000 were also given to them through the same process.
The Chairperson Functional Committee Nasreen Jalil, on the recommendation of all members, said that the bill would be passed after the formal approval from CII. Senator Sehar Kamran raised the issue of Zulfiqar Ali, Pakistani prisoner sentenced to death for drug charges based on no material evidence in Indonesia. She said the accused who is also a father of five children suffers from a stage four terminal liver cancer which has spread in both lobes of liver and his only hope for survival is a liver transplant.
On the suggestion of Senator Sehar, the Committee members agreed to write a letter to Prime Minister Abbasi requesting him to appeal for sympathy for the accused during the forthcoming visit of the Indonesian President to Pakistan on January 26.
The committee also recommended discussing the case of journalist Taha Siddiqui, who was attacked by armed men trying to abduct him. The committee called the victims and concerned security authorities in the next meeting.
Senator Mohsin Khan Leghari said that there are people who defame the country in order to get space in international media. “It is important to investigate such matters,” he proposed. The committee also passed a resolution, strongly condemning atrocities in Indian Held Kashmir and decided to write letter to the United Nations on the upcoming Kashmir Day on February 5.