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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar on Thursday said that the law will take its course, in case the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in its possible long march took the law into their hand and violated the Constitution.

Addressing a press conference, flanked by Qamar Zaman Kaira, adviser to the prime minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, he said that if the PTI tried to storm the capital city then there are a lot of options available in the law and the Constitution. “If the situation deteriorated then the imposition of governor’s rule is one of the options but the government will try to not go to that extent,” he said.

Kaira said that there are no sieges in democracy but there is protest. “If you (the PTI) want to stage a long march after taking permission from the government then come and stage it,” he said, adding that if you want to lay siege of Islamabad this is not possible, this not the era of sieges,” he said,

Tarar has rejected the “baseless propaganda” regarding the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights), Bill. It is not a new law as it was enacted in 2018, he said, adding that all the political parties, including the PML-N, the PPP, the PTI, and others, approved this law in 2018. Tarar said that the opinion of the chairman Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) was also taken before the passage of the transgender bill. Every law that is passed may have some loopholes, he said, adding that some complaints have come up after two years of the Transgender Bill that the bill can be misused.

He said Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has proposed an amendment in the law to prevent its misuse. The JI senator did not oppose the bill but he proposed that the determination of gender of transgender should be decided after the medical board’s examination report. It is mentioned in the bill that after 18 years of age, a transgender can choose the word he or she in the form at the time of applying for the CNIC, he said.

The matter is in the Federal Shariat Court. The government has submitted its reply, and what the court will decide we will accept it. Transgender persons are also human beings and this legislation is meant to protect their rights, including inheritance, education, employment, health, and purchasing a property, he said.

He said that it is a wrong interpretation that intersex marriages have been allowed through this bill. This law will bar intersex marriages, he said. The minister said that sexual harassment has been made a crime in the transgender bill.

He said that there was no transgender law in Pakistan before the year 2018, the Supreme Court issued a detailed decision in 2013, in which it was said that transgender are also citizens of the country, it is the responsibility of the state to give them rights.

Tarar said that this issue came up through the private member bill, access to information is the right of everyone, but not the right to disinformation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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