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ISLAMABAD: The Meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights was held here at the Parliament House on Monday with Senator Walid Iqbal in the chair.

The Senate body discussed the different proposed amendments relating to the “Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018.”

Senator Iqbal apprised the committee about the common position taken by movers of all six bills that Islamic law categorically provides that gender cannot be derived from internal feeling or internal sense of being, but instead may solely be derived from physical appearance, genital attributes, and congenital ambiguities.

Therefore, the committee, unanimously, decided to replace the word “Transgender” in the 2018 Act with “Khunsa (Intersex)” and defined “Khunsa (Intersex) Person” as a person who has a mixture of male and female genital features or congenital ambiguities and could be classified as khunsa male, khunsa female, and khunsa muskhil.

Moreover, the committee agreed on the constitution of a medical board comprising six experts at district level, which includes one Male General Surgeon having a rank of professor, one Female gynaecologist, one plastic surgeon, one endocrinologist or genetist, and one urologist all having a rank of associate professor, and one psychologist preferably having PhD degree.

The amendment also provides that the medical board can seek the guidance of “District Khateeb” in case any ambiguity arises in matters involving Islamic fiqh.

Furthermore, the committee maintained that a Khunsa (intersex) person shall have to get himself/herself registered in the NADRA as per the certification made by the medical board. After detailed deliberation, the committee deferred the matter until the next meeting because movers of amendment bills from PML-N, JI, and JUI (F) had to leave the committee meeting to attend the Joint Session of both Houses of Parliament.

The committee was also briefed about the gruesome incident of rape of a female at Fatima Jinnah Park F-9, Islamabad and measures taken by Islamabad Police to make public places safe. Akbar Nasir, IG Islamabad, informed the committee that the police is investigating the matter and utilising all sorts of modern technology for the apprehension of the culprit. He added that Islamabad Police has also linked the F-9 Park cameras with Safe City Authority besides increasing the number of patrolling personnel and has also appointed a Park Manager for Public Safety.

Chairman CDA Noorul Amin Mengal told the committee that a budget of Rs100 million has also been sanctioned to ensure safety and security of people in public places. The chairman committee decided that the committee will take up the matter again, once the culprit is arrested, which IG Islamabad stated would be before too long.

While discussing the matter of public importance relating to medical treatment of a child by K-Electric who was injured in an electrocution incident in Karachi. Officials of K-Electric informed that the K-Electric will bear all expenses incurred on medical treatment of the child and will also provide financial assistance for the education and employment thereafter, and also for installation and up-gradation modern prosthetic limbs in place of both his amputated arms along with additional assistance of the Government of Sindh.

The committee adopted the report of Sub-Committee on the subject formed under the Convenorship of Senator Quratul Ain Marri, and Senator Iqbal appreciated the work of the members of the sub-committee for their collective efforts in this regard.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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