By Asim Hussain
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari distributed ration among at least 500 transgender persons at an event on Wednesday. The minister claimed that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was trying its best to ensure that transgender persons are recognised as equal citizens of the state.
She further stated that, â€œWe are also trying to get all the transgender persons registered at NADRA.â€ The human rights minister shared that the government had set up a separate ward for transgender persons at the PIMS hospitals, and that she had even written a letter to the provinces to set up separate wards for them in public hospitals nearly a year back. â€œUnfortunately, no work was done on it,â€ she lamented.
Appreciating Ayesha Mughal â€“ the first Pakistani transgender woman to represent the country at the UN -, Mazari said that, â€œWe take pride in Ayesha Mughal, who presented Pakistanâ€™s case effectively in the Human Rights Council at Geneva, who works for the Human Rights Ministry.â€ The transgender community in Pakistan, one of the most marginalised sections of the country â€“ has continued to raise concerns regarding economic impact ever since the lockdown was announced.
According to Nisha Rao, a transgender law graduate who works to provide legal aid to others from the community, there are at least 10,000 transgender persons living in Karachi at present. While many who had come to the port city from other parts of Sindh had returned to their hometowns and villages, those who belonged to Karachi or other provinces were facing the brunt of the lockdown, she said.