PESHAWAR: Special Assistant to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Information Kamran Khan Bangash has assured that the government will provide maximum facilities to transgender persons and protect their rights.

Kamran Bangash said while talking to TNN that the transgender persons in KP are facing problems relating to their education, healthcare, and other basic necessities which would be resolved on priority basis. The special assistant said transgender persons, being weaker segment of society, face many problems in their routine lives. He said the KP government stands for the rights of transgender persons and it is the responsibility of the government to protect them and provide them all facilities to make them useful citizens of the country.

TNN program host, Sobia Khan, who is the first transgender person hosting radio programs, said transgender persons in KP face a lot of problems and they are often subjected to cruel attitude and manhandling. She said it is imperative to stop injustices with transgender persons.

Kamran Bangash said transgender persons are part of our society, and the government will make efforts for providing them their rights. He said all the genuine demands of the transgender persons would be resolved.

“The transgender community in our country is facing cultural exploitation. The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent restrictions have also affected the transgender persons,” Mr Bangash said.

As many as 25,000 transgender persons live in KP and most of them remain deprived of basic facilities. Pakistan’s COVID-19 lockdown and restrictive measures have left transgender people at higher risk of hunger and poverty since they work predominantly in informal economies and make their living by begging on the street, sex work, or dancing. They are not socially privileged and well educated to use virtual tools to take benefit from the digital economy.

Apart from the loss of jobs, the lockdown has brought severe social and political implications for transgender persons. According to the National Committee on the Implementation of Pakistan Transgender Persons’ Protection of Rights Act (2018), 100 percent of transgender persons in Pakistan are experiencing severe impacts on their livelihoods and access to basic needs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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