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Transgender individuals should be allowed to perform Hajj, Umrah: KP resolution

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The resolution further calls for right to inheritance for the transgender community as they, too, “are citizens of Pakistan”. The News/Files

PESHAWAR: Transgender individuals should be allowed to perform Hajj and Umrah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a resolution submitted Friday in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly demanded.

PPP lawmaker Nighat Yasmin Orakzai submitted the resolution to the KP Assembly’s secretariat.

The resolution demanded that the Pakistani government request Saudi Arabia to allow transgender people to perform the Islamic pilgrimages. It also calls for the right to inheritance for the transgender community as they, too, “are citizens of Pakistan”.

“The transgender community is also part of the [Pakistani] society; therefore, their identity cards should be included in the inheritance law,” the resolution stated.

Trans rights in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Pakistan had in 2018 passed a landmark transgender rights bill for the community’s protection, prohibiting gender-based discrimination, allowing them fundamental rights, and letting them choose their gender on official documents.

Earlier this year, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Social Welfare Department had proposed a new policy for the transgender community, noting that advice had been sought from relevant stakeholders and approval from the provincial cabinet awaited.

The new policy formulated for transgender rights focuses on various aspects, including education opportunities, medical treatment, and job quotas. The document proposed a 2% quota in government jobs for the transgender community and recommended setting up separate schools and vocational centres at divisional headquarters.

Medical treatment, gender reassignment facilities

Quotas should also be allocated for transgender individuals in government housing schemes, it had read, noting that members of the community would have the right to vote, run in elections, and hold public offices.

That document also made a recommendation for transgender individuals to receive unemployment and health insurance, as well as hardship grants, and a plan was to be prepared to provide a sum of Rs2,000-3,000 per month to unemployed transgender individuals over the age of 50.

The transgender persons would also be provided medical treatment, including protection against AIDS, as well as new gender reassignment facilities, the proposed policy had demanded. 

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