Islamabad: Pakistan People’s Party will defend the Transgender Protection Act 2018 and if needed will also reach out to all those who have launched a campaign aginst it with a view to removing grave misunderstandings about the Act circulated on the social media.

This was stated by secretary general of the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian senator Farhatullah Babar during a press conference at the National Press Club in Islamabad organized by members of Transgender community Saturday evening.

He said that a petition has already been made before the Federal Shariat Court for impleadment in the case.

Never before a law duly passed by the Parliament has been so grossly misundersttod and so grossly misinterpreted as the Transgender Protect Act 2018 he said. These misconceptions have fueled more hatred in the society against transgender person and further endangered their lives as witnessed in the spurt in attacks on them. It is necessary to correct the perspective and remove the misconceptions he said.

He said confusion had been created by misunderstanding that the Act allowed change of gender from male to female or vice versa. This is absolutely wrong he said adding “no male can modify his gender as female nor can any female modify her gender as male under the Act”.

It is also wrong to link the law to promotion sexual vices. The law does not talk of marriages of transgender persons and is only about the rights of a most persecuted community. It is about guaranteeing the rights of life, of education, of health, of employment, of inheritance of transgender- rights that have been guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution, he said.

Referring to the condition of medical examination now proposed in an amendment to the Act moved by a senator he said that NADRA issued about 125,000 cards daily. 56% of these are women. NADRA did not ask any man or woman to prove his/her gender then why discriminate against Trans people he asked?

He said that transgender citizens can only get X card, not that of a male or a female.

If the state trusts male or female ID card applicants, why should a trans citizen have to undergo humiliation before receiving an X card?

It is claimed that the definition of a transgender person is not limited to real transgender but is a cover for gays he said and said there no mention at all of these terms in the ACT. These apprehensions are based on misconceptions and lack of knowledge.

It is also wrong to say that there is no procedure while applying for X card to NADRA. Transgender Persons Rules, 2020 provide elaborate procedures for applying for CNIC card for transgender or for amending the existing CNIC, he said.

Farhatullah Babar said that the PPP has always stood by the rights of marginalized sections of society and the trans persons were the most marginalized so much so that in most case even their own families had abandoned them and left them to cruel treatment.

He said as for the arguments about it being against Islamic principles he said the matter was sub judiced and arguments will be made before the Shariat Court. During discussions leading to the adoption of the Act however the Council of Islamic Ideology was consulted he said and that the Council then did not object to it.

He urged that vile propaganda against the Act be stopped as it only endangered the lives of transgender persons and exposed them to even greater ridicule, hatred and threats to their lives.

Farhatullah Babar said that he did not doubt the intentions of those opposing the Act. The senator who has moved an amendment has a right to do so. However, it was necessary to clarify the misperceptions about the Trans Act he said and expressed the hope that once clarity was improved sanity will prevail.