Nadra resumes registration for transgender

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Nadra resumes registration for transgender

Almost three months after it had been put on hold the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) on Monday restarted the registration of transgender people.

Nadra prevented transgender persons from applying for ‘X’ National Identity Cards (NIC) after the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) ruled against the provisions of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018 in May 2023. The legal trade, civic society, and human rights activists all rejected the outcome of the case.

Farhatullah Babar, the secretary general of the PPP, challenged the FSC decision in July before the Supreme Court’s Shariat Appellate Bench.

Nadra announced earlier today that it was withdrawing its prior order to freeze registrations.

Director of Nadra Public Engagement Rida Qazi told that the authority had given instructions to resume printing ‘X’ NICs for transgender people, confirming the trend.

She said that after the FSC assessment, the process was first put on hold, but that it has now been resumed as the case is now before the Supreme Court. The recommendation of its external legal advice wing, according to Qazi, required Nadra to print “X” NICs for transgender people.

The decision by the authority was applauded by Nayyab Ali, director of Transgender Rights Consultants Pakistan.

Ali said on the social media platform X, “Congratulations to the entire community of transgender activists in Pakistan for your hard struggle.

The Nadra decision reactivating the ‘X ‘NIC registration process received praise from the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) for its “prompt response” and conclusion.

The NCHR promised to “continue to uphold the rights of all, especially the marginalized communities of Pakistan.”

Having a valid NIC is essential for the provision of various rights, according to NCHR chairperson Rabiya Javeri Agha.

FSC verdict

To give transgender people legal recognition and make sure that discrimination against transgender people in all spheres of life is criminalized, the National Assembly passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act in 2018.

A “landmark” determination that offered protection to a community on the margins, the legislation has been the subject of legal scrutiny ever since it was passed.

The FSC had taken up petitions against legislation in September 2022, making transgender people Almaas Boby and Bubbly Malik, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed of the Jamaat-i-Islami, and TV host Orya Maqbool Jan parties in them.

Under the Intersex Persons (Protection of Rights) (Amendment) Bill, 2022, changes to the law were also requested at the same time. This bill called for the repeal of all rules believed to violate the Constitution and Islamic law.

In May 2023, a court nullified the act and declared that Sections 2(f) (which defines “gender identity”) and 2(n)(iii), which defines “Transgender Person,” contradict Sharia.

The Transgenders Act of 2018’s Sections 3 (recognition of a transgender person’s identity) and 7 (right to inherit) had also been declared inconsistent with Sharia by the FSC.

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