PESHAWAR: Thousands of transgender Wednesday could not be able to exercise their right of franchise across the country due to lack of proper identification of their sex in the computerized national identity cards (CNICs), transgender rights activist Qamar Naseem said.
Naseem said according to the 2017 census, the number of transgender in the country was around 10,418 whereas CINCs with category of X had been issued only to 127 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Naseem, programme coordinator of Blue Veins – a non-profit organization working for the empowerment of transgender in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told APP that the number of transgender in the provinces was high but only 913 were registered in the 2017 census.
He said in June 2018, Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar had ordered for provision of CNICs to the transgender free of cost.“All those transgender persons, who have CNICs, should be allowed to exercise their right to vote,” he quoted the CJP’s order.
He said due to social taboos, transgender could not enter the male polling stations to cast their vote therefore they avoided to use their right because sex identity was mentioned as `male’ in their CNICs, .
Moreover, majority of the 127 transgender with sex identity as `X’ mentioned in their CNICs, had their votes registered in their places of birth, which they did not visit to avoid facing relatives, he added.
He also criticized the political leadership for not giving due consideration to the issue, thus depriving thousands of this segment from their right to vote.
He said Blue Veins had also filed a writ petition in this regard with the Peshawar High Court which had issued notices to the National Database Registration Authority, but to no avail.— APP