Form committee to provide ID cards to transgenders voters: Pak court

Islamabad: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday ordered the formation of a committee which would provide free computerised national identity cards (CNICs) to transgenders.

On Sunday, the Supreme Court took suo-motu cognizance of non-issuance of computerised national identity cards to the transgender community, ahead of the upcoming general elections in Pakistan, Dawn reported.

The order was then issued during a follow-up hearing of the case, held at the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry.

To make the process of voting hassle-free, Nisar ordered a provision for CNICs that would facilitate issuing cards through a one-window facility.

“The Supreme Court will monitor all steps online and I will personally supervise the matter,” Dawn quoted CJP Nisar as saying.

The CJP further said that special courts will be created to safeguard the rights of the transgender community.

Those transgenders who already have identity cards should be given the right to vote, he added.

On June 15, the members of a non-governmental organisation working for the transgender community, Vision Pakistan, met Nisar at the Foundation House in Lahore and made him aware of the difficulty in acquiring identity cards.

The members alleged that the local police was raiding their houses and harassing them to leave the Mardan district.

The Dawn reported on Thursday that a transgender community named All Pakistan Transgender Elections Network would be fielding 13 transgender candidates to contest the elections.

The organisation also alleged that two of its members were prevented from filing their nominations as they were beaten up and harassed after others got to know of their plans to contest the elections.