Trans community in Pakistan rejects ‘misleading’ trans rights bill

Pakistani transgender protestors (ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Members of the transgender community in Pakistan have rejected a bill purporting to protect their rights, calling it “misleading”.

The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights recently passed The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2017.

But activists described the bill as “misleading and inaccurate according to international standards and the United Nations.”


A spokesperson for the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s special committee on trans rights said: “No doubt the passage of the bill is a landmark achievement, but the definition of transgender in it is misleading and inaccurate according to international standards and the UN.”

“Provinces have to pass resolutions under Article 144 for the enactment of such a Bill but it is less likely to happen as three provinces are already drafting their own provincial bills,” he added.

One activist, Nadeem Kashish, said: “One of the major flaws in the bill is that in 2012, the Supreme Court had ordered that no one should be given transgender identity without a chromosome test, but the Bill states otherwise.”

Earlier this year, a transgender woman was shot dead in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The woman was shot and killed by unidentified men in the city’s Cantonment area.

Police said that a number of armed assailants shot at the woman in the Khyber supermarket, reports DawnNews.

Speaking to local news outlets, police officers said the woman was struck by three bullets.

She was later transferred to the Lady Reading Hospital for treatment.

A spokesperson for the hospital said the woman was brought in in critical condition.

“After receiving her, doctors shifted the injured to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and provided treatment,” added the spokesperson.

The woman later died of her injuries in the intensive care unit.

Members of the local transgender community have reached out to call for the arrest of the assailants.

Police have said they have no information regarding the suspects, but that an operation has been launched to find them.

An unconfirmed report suggests that that one of the suspects may have been a friend of the victim.

Earlier this year, a trans woman was tortured and beheaded in Pakistan.

Authorities were unable to identify the corpse, which was found three days after her death.



Pakistan contains more than 10,400 trans people according to census data from August, though activists estimate that there could be hundreds of thousands more in the country.

Pakistan has taken several steps towards equality for trans people.

In 2009, the country became one of the first in the world to legally recognise a third gender when they handed out gender-neutral identity cards.

Earlier in October, a Pakistani university offered free education to trans students.

And in August, the government introduced a bill which aimed to protect trans people.

But despite these moves, violence and sexual attacks on trans people are still common in the Muslim country.

Earlier this year, two transgender women were allegedly gang-raped in their own home.

Two other trans women were left brutally beaten when five men broke into the house rented by a group of trans women in the capital, Karachi.

(Facebook/Trans Action Pakistan)

(Facebook/Trans Action Pakistan)

And just a few weeks earlier, a gang of armed men opened fire on a group of trans people.

One trans person was killed in the attack, which was also committed in the capital.