The recently passed Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act by the National Assembly, was enacted in 2018. The law allows transgender persons equal rights to education, basic health facilities, writing their transgender identity on their identity cards and passports, besides the right to vote and contest elections.
However, some religious parties are of the opinion that this bill is actually an attempt to give legal protection to homosexuality in the country. Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has even challenged the law in the Federal Shariat Court (FSC).
Maulana Fazlur Rahman, an ally of the government and head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), has said that the law is against the teachings” of the Holy Quran and Sunnah and added that he would submit amendments to it in parliament.
Also read: Trans people decry objections to rights bill
Haq while holding a press conference at Mansoora, Lahore on Friday said that “we have always supported the rights of transgender people… we are not against their rights”. During the days of Covid-19 pandemic, Jamaat-e-Islami supported them, went to their homes and delivered relief materials, and took care of them during the flood too, he added.
The JI chief said that the Transgender Act that the government prepared in 2018 is against Sharia. According to this law, men and women can change their gender without any hindrance, he said, adding that under this law, 29 thousand men and women have so far declared changing their gender identity. “There is usually a western agenda behind such laws, it is a conspiracy to destroy our family system… the authority to change gender only rests with Almighty Allah.”
Amir Jamaat-e-Islami said that his party’s Senator Mushtaq Ahmed has submitted a resolution to amend the transgender law, adding that a medical board should be formed which should include a psychologist in this connection. “We want this law not to be misused. Yes, this law may bring the wrath of Allah”.
The transgender community however says that false propaganda has been unleashed against the Transgender Protection Act, lamenting that labelling those fighting for equal rights for transgender people as homosexuals tantamount to committing cruelty against them.
Also read: Law minister defends Transgender Act
Amid criticism of the law by the religious parties, which perceive it as an attempt to give legal protection to homosexuality, transgender people say that the 2018 act neither mentions any kind of sex change nor did it allows ‘unnatural’ sex.
Two not one Pakistan
Haq in today’s media interaction further said that now there are not one but two Pakistans, one is for VIPs while the other is for the poor people, as courts and governments also give NROs to influential people.
Both PTI and PDM cannot run for a week without the support of the establishment, he said. After PTI, PDM has proved to be one of the most failed governments, adding that it has only done one thing which is increasing the number of ministers. “There is not much difference between the incumbent PDM government and the previous one of PTI.”
Originally published at tribune.com.pk