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Wednesday, May 22, 2024  
14 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Law minister rejects criticism on Transgender bill

Says they factored in the opinion of the Council of Islamic Ideology
Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazir Tarar addressing the press conference along with Adviser to PM for Kashmir Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira at PID. APP photo
Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazir Tarar addressing the press conference along with Adviser to PM for Kashmir Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira at PID. APP photo

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar on Thursday rejected the criticism on Transgender bill and negated the misconception that the law was repugnant to Islamic injunctions.

Addressing a press conference alongside Adviser to PM for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira, Tarar clarified that the bill was passed by the Senate and National Assembly in the presence of religious and political leaders.

He said that after reaching the age of 18 years, transgender persons could declare their genders on their identity cards.

He said that the Transgender Act was passed in 2018 while Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Mushtaq Ahmed brought amendments in parliament to prevent misuse of this law and the government supported these amendments.

The entire process of the Transgender Law included the opinion of the Council of Islamic Ideology, he added.

He said that the government would accept the decision of the Shariah court regarding this matter and the guidance of the Shariah court was also needed regarding the medical of the transgender. The rights of the transgender had been protected by this law, he added.

The Minister said that there was always a chance of weakness or misuse of it whenever a law was passed. He said that complaints started coming after two years on a provision that there was a possibility that sections 3 and 4 could be misused.

He said that according to the aforementioned sections, after reaching the age of 18 years, transgender persons could declare their genders on their identity cards.

He said that it should be suitably amended and made subject to the decision of the Medical Board. This matter was still under consideration in the Parliament and two petitions were filed in the Federal Sharia Court. But if the amendment was necessary, it should be done through the Parliament, he added.

He said that there were also two provisions regarding recognition and identity. But, the matter would only be changed after the verdict of the shariah court, he added. He said that the prime responsibility of the shariah court was to see whether a law was against the shariah and the principles of Islam. The government had submitted its responses on the pleas as well, he added.

He said that some friends twisted this matter and claimed that the law was encouraging homosexuality. It was also being perceived that entire law was completely negative, he added.

Tarar said that the law talked about discrimination, sexual harassment, the right to inheritance, the right to education, the right to health, and the right to employment for transgender persons.

He said that the reason for interacting with media today was that this was not about those arguments, this was about Constitution, law, shariah and human rights.

He requested media to spread this message further. “I expect the Pakistani people to understand that transgender persons were Pakistanis, they were a part of the society.

He said that the provisions of the law, starting off with the definition of a transgender person and contending that the law nowhere stated that any person could be a transgender themselves.

He said that the Ministry of Human Rights was working on the rights of transgenders, establishment of separate cells in prisons and other issues.

He said that the powers of the federal government were determined in the constitution. The issue of relieving an officer was going on, the appointment and deployment of a federal officer was the authority of the federal government and if there was a provincial officer, the federation could not ask for him, he added.

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