Thursday Sep 22, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Law Azam Nazir Tarar on Thursday dismissed the "baseless propaganda" being spread about the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill and asserted that the "Parliament cannot enact legislation contrary to the Shariah."
Tarar was speaking during a press conference along with Advisor to the Prime Minister on Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira in the federal capital. The minister maintained that the said law was not new as it was enacted in 2018.
"At the time of its enaction, all political parties — including PML-N, PPP, PTI, and others — approved this law, while the opinion of the chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) was also sought before the law was passed," he said.
The law minister stressed that transgender individuals are equal human beings and that the 2018 legislation was meant to "protect their rights, including inheritance, education, employment, health, and purchasing a property."
He also recalled that back in 2013, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had issued a detailed ruling, saying that transgender individuals were equal citizens and that giving them rights was the responsibility of the state.
The law minister added that recently, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan of the Jamat-e-Islami (JI) proposed an amendment to the law so as to "prevent its misuse".
"Senator Mushtaq has proposed that people declaring themselves transgender must present a medical report to prove it," he said, adding that as per the Constitution of Pakistan, no person shall be discriminated against on the basis of their gender.
Speaking on the occasion, Kaira said the government supports Senator Mushtaq's proposed amendments to the bill but added that social media had become a "hotbed for fake news."
"Senator Mushtaq's proposed amendment will further improve the transgender law," Kaira maintained, adding that so far, amendments have not been made to the law but there was a need for that.
"This amendment should be supported as it will remove all flaws from the existing law," Kaira maintained, adding that Senator Mushtaq "is not against the law at all."