Rights Watch | 7th May 2020

Rights Watch

Trans People Excluded From Ehsaas

Rights activists decry the exclusion of the trans community from receiving government aid during the lockdown.

While deserving, underprivileged persons have been able to acquire monetary assistance through the government’s Ehsaas Fund, trans persons have had to bear the nearly 6-week long lockdown without any such support.

The trans community is able to make a living as domestic workers or through charity during celebrations or from begging. Although businesses and other sectors are slowly reopening under a “smart lockdown”, the prevailing ban on gatherings and restrictions on travel have deprived trans persons their only means of livelihood, forcing them to brave starvation and homelessness.

Woman Dies Awaiting Relief

A Sargodha woman died while receiving care at the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital after she had fainted while standing in the queue to register for the government’s Ehsaas Program at a local NADRA office. The underprivileged awaiting relief is forced to stand for hours in the sweltering heat with no provisions, such as chairs, fans, or shade, in order to sign up for aid.

Violence Resurfaces In Waziristan

Five civilians were killed on the night of April 4 in two separate incidents in the tribal regions of North Waziristan. Meanwhile, three policemen were also murdered in separate incidents in Malakand, Mardan, and Kohat. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were discovered and diffused in Bannu and Peshawar.

Target killings of civilians and security agents are on the rise, raising concerns of the resurgence of militant extremists in the region amidst the ongoing Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad which began in 2017. Furthermore, the recent US-Taliban accord which granted some modicum of political power to the Afghan Taliban raises questions as to the security of neighboring Pakistan.