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Pakistan’s 13 transgender candidates face threats of violence

June 14, 2018

Photo: courtesy Trans Action Pakistan

For the first time in Pakistan’s history, 13 transgender persons are running for the elections but their journey to the polls is not an easy one.

Speaking at a press conference to launch their election manifesto, transgender candidate Nayab Ali said that PTI and PML-N candidates are threatening her. Nayab is contesting from NA-142 Okara.
She said transgender people face security issues in Pakistan. “We should also have transgender representation in the assemblies. No major political party recognises us or give us tickets,” she lamented.

Apart from Ayesha Gulalai’s PTI-Gulalai, which awarded tickets to four members of the transgender community, no other political party has given tickets to transgender candidates.

Most candidates are contesting the elections independently.

Violence and discrimination against members of the community has risen in recent years, with 58 transgender persons killed in K-P since 2015.

In May this year, the transgender rights bill was passed by the National Assembly in an attempt to safeguard the community’s rights. The bill, which was praised by the transgender community, prohibits unfair treatment of transgender persons who stand for public office.


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