August 27th, 2020
Peshawar Bureau Report
The transgender community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has lambasted the provincial government over its failure to protect the community from violence and to apprehend the perpetrators.
Farzana Khan, president of transgender association KP said that more than 1500 cases of violence including rape have been reported in the last five years.
She said that at least 68 transgenders have been killed since 2016 but the government has failed to enact any special law or form a policy to protect one of the most vulnerable segments of society.
“Every criminal gets punishment but unfortunately the murderer of a transgender gets away scot-free and then that person comes out of the prison and threatens us again,” said Khan.
Taimoor Khattak, a transgender rights activist said that the transgender community has taken to the streets a number of times to protest against the impunity that perpetrators enjoy despite committing grevious crimes against transgenders but the situation remains unchanged.
“Except for the Alishba murder case, no one has ever been convicted by the courts for committing a crime of serious nature against the trans community.”
In 2016, a transwoman Alishba was cold-bloodedly murdered by a man named Fazal Gujjar. Gujjar shot Alishba six times after she failed to pay him extortion money. Later, Gujjar was handed over a death sentence by a local court in Peshawar but acquitted the co-accused Rahmatullah from the case by giving him benefit of doubt.
There is no reliable data on the number of transgenders in the province, however, according to various surveys and welfare organizations, their total number in the province is around fifty thousand.
In the last fiscal budget, The KP government allocated Rs200 million for the welfare of transgender people. It was also announced that a quota of two percent in employment and allocation of six beds in government hospitals for treatmentb but nothing was done practically.
Opposition MPA Nighat Orakzai says that she has submitted several resolutions in the provincial assembly regarding the scrutiny of money allocated for the transgender in the budget but the government has not taken any action yet.
On the other hand, the government claimed that work is being done to prevent crimes against the vulnerable community.
But Kamran Bangash, special assistant to CM KP says that the law enforcement agencies are working effectively to make them feel secure.
“As a public representative, I am also in touch with the transgender community. The cases of violence against then have gone down and I am very hopeful that the current government will contribute effectively to provide them security and jobs,” he said.