Babra Jahira is a resident of Quetta. She leaves everything, including her desires and dignity, locked in her rented room to make her way to Quetta Bazar where she sings and dances to appease the passersby. This makes her livelihood possible.
Since there exist no laws which protect transgender against physical and gender discrimination, Babra Jahira suffers a fate—sexual remarks, body shaming, and physical assaults—that is predestined for the transgender community in Quetta.
“I do have wishes like a common man/woman does. It’s heartening to see people using abusive language when we (transgender) are addressed,” says Babra. “It was hard to believe,” adds Babra, “that my parents will abandon me. My grand Mother started looking after me but she lost her hope too and left me to survive alone when I was only 13.”
Babra is 25 now. She was only 18 when she was expelled from school. “The traits that define human beings are not difficult to understand. The only difference between male and female is sex and giving birth to a child. I believe there is no concept of male and female associated with transgender. I resemble a woman that’s why I have made myself like that,” Babra resonates in a humble tone.
Babra says she has the same capability as men who hold a higher status in society and she can hold an office, with a systematic grip, but identity creates miserable hurdles in owning a job. “Government of Pakistan has had recent parliament gathering to discuss Transgender Protection and Identity Bill and submitted the draft to the law department. After getting passed, the black and white form of bill stays unimplemented and we’re left insecure,” she laments.
“I see no gender difference between a common person and a transgender. Islam states no difference among humans but defines only a male and female. A transgender who resembles male or female should be treated accordingly but the concept is rarely admitted”. Human rights activist advocate Jalilahaider explains; adding: “Governments are responsible for caring the people and transgender deserve due shares in every in every walk of life and opportunities provided by the government.”
Pakistan is an Islamic country. Despite of presence of Islamic and ethical injunctions, transgender feel insecure and are deprived of all constitutional and fundamental rights!
“This has been a long debate that how Islam seems the transgender entity. As narrated by (Abu Hurairah): “The apostle of Almighty Allah transparently glances that a man who dresses like a woman or a woman who dresses like a man is cursed before Allah Almighty (Imam Abu Dawood, Bk.027, No.4087).” The narrative beckons a fine-line that Islam does not divide men bodily. A transgender that resembles man is to be treated as a man so shall be the case with the one who resembles woman,” explains Moulana Anwar-ul-Haq Haqqani, advisor of Balochistan’s provincial religious affairs.
Moulana Anwar-ul- Haq Haqqani brings more stress to the subject and adds, “It’s a shield prescribed by Islam that how can we make moral norms for some human entities. A particular human entity that neither falls in the male category nor woman should be treated either like men or women depending on the acts as a woman or man. However, the mistreatment should not be the societal attitude towards transgender”.
“It’s a lucid remark that transgender ought to be treated equally to a supreme creature. The suppression against them meets an extreme aloofness of society where medical and education factors stay at high priority,” says Muhammad khan Lehri, former education minister Balochistan.
“Bills to protect transgender against physical harm and discrimination were planned to seek a shield that would protect transgender from all problems they went through. However, there is a lack of understanding among lawmakers. How the law can protect and make sure the transgender community is secure is the main thing to deliberate upon,” concludes Mr. Muhammad Khan Lehri.
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