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HomeBusinessBlanket Statements TAZAA News

Blanket Statements TAZAA News

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While the country remains embroiled in economic crises and dealing with flood devastation, our politicians are occupied with a needless political controversy. The debate on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018 continues, mostly through tactless and misinformed tactics by the political actors engaged in it. An example of unnecessary behavior is that of the recent statement released by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII). On Tuesday, the CII stated that several provisions in the aforementioned Act were inconsistent with Shariah.

In Pakistan, all laws must be in line with Islamic principles. Therefore, the determination of complex Islamic questions must be deliberated upon very carefully, with thorough consideration and consultation with various experts, scholars and stakeholders. Blanket statements, without going through a careful process, can be highly detrimental to the delicate balance of the constitution of Pakistan and our legislative process. Therefore, the CII just nonchalantly announcing that the law is against Shariah, without giving any argument or clarification, or showing evidence that careful consideration had been given to any provisions of the law, is extremely problematic. Such statements automatically cause prejudice to any further development regarding the law.

The role of the council is not to make unprompted value judgments, especially when the parliament has not invited this opinion. Not merely this, but such statements tend to have an incitement impact—they have the effect of fanning the flames of controversy and heightening emotions. This is unacceptable while the matter is still in the parliament or sub judice, and legislation protections are being put to question.

While this debate is being had by people sitting comfortably in parliament or their office, incidents of bigotry and hatred against transgender persons have only risen. Just a day ago, a transgender person was killed in an apparent hate crime at the Swabi Interchange on the Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway.

The law ensured issuing of a certificate of identity to transgender persons and provided that no establishment shall discriminate against them in matters relating to employment, recruitment, promotion and other related issues. The law under debate criminalized abusing transgender persons by forcing them to beg had been made punishable under the law. Blanket statements about the whole law being un-Islamic ensure that such provisions for the protection of the lives and dignity of transgender people are also undermined.

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