by Fazal Khaliq
MINGORA: The local transvestites have complained about what they call the discriminatory and shameful attitude of police with them.
They demanded of the government to grant them rights like other citizens of the country. They said that police were forcing them to vacate their residence in Mohallah Baba area of Mingora.
They told this scribe that police along with some local people came to their residence in Mullah Baba and threatened them to leave the area otherwise they would face harsh treatment.
“We are human being and must be treated as equal citizens of the country. People as well as police treat us like animals. Yesterday (Monday) police came with some people and abused us. They warned us to leave the area,” said Maxy, a transgender.
She said that she shifted to Swat from Lahore four years ago. She said that she left her house due to the harsh behaviour of her father and brothers. She said that transvestites in Swat were deprived of every right.
“We go to parties for dance in the evening to earn our livelihood and then come to our rented building. We are not involved in any illegal activity but the local people come here now and then and often beat us. We don’t know our fault,” said Naveed, another transgender.
DPO pledges to take action against the officials, who are threatening transgenders
She said that people insulted them whenever they found an opportunity.
“At homes our families torture us and outside our homes people treat us inhumanly. People must respect us as we are also human beings,” said Kamran, a transvestite, who shifted to Swat from Mardan to save her family from disgrace.
More than 150 transvestites live in Swat. According to them, they face different issues and the biggest one is getting a residence on rent.
Tabassum Adnan, a women’s rights activist and chairperson of the Khwendo Jirga in Swat who was standing with the transvestites, said that constitutionally transgender had equal rights but the government failed to give them equal rights.
“It shows that the government is really weak to protect rights of citizens. It is questionable as to how and why police threaten them to vacate the residence. They must be treated as equal citizens,” she said.
She demanded action against those police officials, who were threatening the transvestites. She said that government should give them employment. “In Punjab, transvestites enjoy better rights as compared to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” said Ms Adnan.
District Police Officer Saleem Marwat, when contacted, said that transvestites would be protected and no one would be allowed to treat them badly. “I will immediately launch an inquiry into the matter and will take action against the police officials involved in it,” he added.