NADRA to Remove Gender Change Clause Due to Transgender Act Controversy

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has decided to remove its Rule 13-1, which allows gender change under the controversial Transgender Act, 2018.

A two-member bench of the Federal Shariat Court (FSC), including Acting Chief Justice (CJ), Syed Muhammad Anwar, and Justice Qasim Ali Shaikh, heard the case about the above-mentioned Act.

The bench was told that the NADRA’s Chairman, Tariq Malik, has authorized the removal of the gender change provision, while final approval will be given in a board meeting in a month.

NADRA’s lawyer informed the court that Rule 13 of NADRA regulations will be abolished, and confirmed that the Chairman has granted approval, but final approval from the board is pending.

In this regard, Justice Shaikh inquired about the schedule of the meeting, to which NADRA’s counsel stated that the meeting is held every month. Meanwhile, Justice Shaikh said that the meeting’s agenda and minutes will be examined in the case.

Arguments by Other Parties

Additionally, the counsel for Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) requested the court to also invite the provinces, but the Acting CJ rejected his request because the Transgender Act is a Federal issue.

During the hearing, Attorney Imran Shafiq, representing Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Senator Mushtar Ahmed, contended that sex and gender are interchangeable terms, while the term ‘transgender’ in the Act has not been interpreted in light of legal and religious perspectives.

Furthermore, he said that the boundaries of men and women have been determined separately, adding that the transgender person can simply be explained as an individual having both genders, whereas the Transgender Act allows one to have the right to change their own gender.

He went on to say that both the Quran and the Sunnah prohibit one from changing gender, while Islam has classified males and females based on gender signs, thereby self-identification of gender cannot be allowed.

Senator Mushtaq Ahmed told the court that he presented an amendment to the Act in Senate but later several other legislators also submitted their amendments. He further detailed that his new bill is pending in the upper house for review. Justice Shaikh asked for its copy to be submitted to the court.

Besides, Pakistani Transgender Activist, Nadeem Kashish, urged the court to include the term ‘Khansa’ (eunuch) in the bill. Meanwhile, another Transgender Activist, Shahana Abbas, informed the court that they are not allowed to go for Hajj or visit any Arab country because of the ‘Gender X’ identity on their NICs.

Ultimately, the FSC adjourned the hearing of the case until 2 November 2022.

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  • In islam no one is allowed to change their gender they should accept themselves the way they are … it’s simple as that…and since Pakistan is an islamic republic it should put islam above anything else

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