CJP takes suo motu notice of non-issuance of CNICs to transgender persons

LAHORE: The issue of transgender persons not being given computerised national identity cards (CNIC) will be taken up at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry on Monday as Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the matter on Sunday.

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A press release issued by the Supreme Court stated that the chief justice took notice after his visit to Foundation House in Lahore, where transgender persons complained to him regarding non-issuance of CNICs.

Foundation House is a shelter facility that has recently been opened in Lahore’s Rachna Town for transgender persons. The facility houses transgender people aged 50 or above, as well as those seeking treatment for diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis. Transgender people are provided with food and medical treatment free of cost at the shelter home.

Although the law in Pakistan promises all the basic rights to transgender persons in the country, they continue to face difficulties is getting access to such services.

In March, the Senate unanimously approved Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2017.

In the same month, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government issued driving licences to two transgender persons.

Moreover, the National Database and Registration Authority started providing transgendered community members with three gender categories on the registration forms for CNICs.

But the community remains grappling for survival.

However, their woes pertaining to the issuance of CNICs would be heard at the top court’s Lahore Registry on Monday (tomorrow) where the chief justice has summoned chief secretary Punjab, other relevant officials and Akhuwat Foundation Executive Director Dr Amjad Saqib.

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