The passport authorities in Pakistan issue the first ever third gender passport. The transgender community welcomes the move by the government. The transgender community considers it as the first step in the right direction.
Third Gender Passport with Gender X Option
The third gender passport comes with Gender X mentioned on it. Homosexuality is a crime in a Muslim country like Pakistan. The Pakistani authorities gave the third gender passport to Farzana Jan.
A Bit About Farzana Jan
Farzana Jan to whom passport officials in Pakistan gave third gender passport runs a charity. The President of TransAction Pakistan, Farzana Jan seemed ecstatic and jubilant over receiving of the third gender passport.
The transgender Farzana Jan applied for an urgent passport around six months ago. However, took a lot of time to process a third gender passport (first for the country). The authorities had to categorize the transgender community as gender ‘X.’
Farzana Jan on Third Gender Passport
Farzana Jan was over the moon for being issued a passport as a third gender. The transgender said that finally, they had got a separate category. Men and women already have different categories of their own, says Farzana. However, authorities did not give them that right. The transgender expressed happiness over having a legal recognition.
Farzana Jan also expressed the need for the transgender community to visit the world outside Pakistan. However, the gender issue always proved to be a stumbling block. But now, Farzana Jan sees hope after issuance of a separate passport.
Population of Transgender in Pakistan
There are no accurate stats available on the transgender community in Pakistan. However, some estimates suggest the population of the transgender community in Pakistan be around half a million.
Waqar Ali, a transgender approached the Lahore High Court to include the community within the census. Therefore, on orders of Lahore High Court, Pakistan will for the first time count its transgender community.
Proposal by Opposition to Protect Rights of Transgender Community
A legislator from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf submitted a bill back in April 2017. The bill advocates a legal proposal to safeguard the rights of transgender persons in Pakistan. The proposed legislation aims to overcome discrimination faced by the community during employment, healthcare facilities, and in educational institutes.
Free Treatment of Transgender
An MOU is signed by Punjab Aids Program & Akhuwat at Fountain House Lahore. The transgender community will be able to enjoy free health care services. Furthermore, the program will set up a separate medical and healthcare facility at Fountain House. Therefore, it will offer free tests for Syphilis, STIs, and Hepatitis B & C. It will also provide vaccination to transgender persons.
The Year 2009 A Turning Point for Transgender
In 2009, the Supreme Court of Pakistan gave transgender the right to have a national identity card. Hence, they can now own or inherit property, vote in elections, and become an active part of the community.