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ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam - Fazl (JUI-F), an ally of the government, challenged the Transgender Protection Act, 2018, in the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) on Friday.

In the petition, the JUI-F, which is a part of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), has requested that the act be declared against Shariat, adding that “no law can be made against Quran and Sunnah in the country”. The FSC fixed the party’s application for a preliminary hearing on Monday (October 3).

On September 26, the Transgender Act Amendment Bill, 2022, related to the protection of transgenders had been presented in the House by PTI Senator Fauzia Arshad and was then handed over to the relevant standing committee by the chairman Senate.

A few days ago, the high-level meeting of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) also said that the transgender law may cause new social problems and that several provisions in the act as a whole are not compatible with Shariah principles.

Transgender Act: CII asks govt to effect certain amendments

The recently-passed Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act by the National Assembly was enacted in 2018. The law allows transgender persons equal rights to education, basic health facilities, writing their transgender identity on their identity cards and passports, besides the right to vote and contest elections.

However, some religious parties led by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) are of the opinion that this bill is actually an attempt to give legal protection to homosexuality in the country. Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan of the JI has also challenged the law in the Shariat court. JI chief Sirajul Haq had also stated that the Act was against Islamic Sharia.

Earlier, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, head of the JUI-F, had also said that the law is against Islamic teachings and had added that he will submit amendments to it in the parliament.

The transgender community of Pakistan had said that false propaganda was unleashed against the Transgender Protection Act, lamenting that labelling those fighting for equal rights for transgender people as homosexuals tantamount to committing cruelty against them.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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