Sobia Khan. -- A file photo

Salman Yousafzai

PESHAWAR: First time in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a transgender person has been appointed a member of Dispute Resolution Council (DRC) by the KP Police.

The Capital City Police has issued a formal notification about appointment of Sobia Khan, who also hosts a program for TNN, as DRC member. The notification says the small level disputes and problems of transgender community would be resolved through the DRC and Sobia Khan has been appointed its member.

The concerned staff has been directed to contact Sobia Khan in case any complaint involving transgender persons is received. She has been appointed representative of all transgender persons in Peshawar and she will be assisted by other members of the DRC.

Sobia Khan, who is culture secretary for transgender persons in KP, says it’s not just a position, but a ray of hope for transgender persons for resolution of their problems.

Qualification and aims

Sobia Khan says the incidents of torture on transgender persons are common, FIRs in this regard are also lodged, but most of culprits involved in such acts remain unpunished. She says this situation has led to inferiority complex and disappointment among transgender persons and they feel no one is there to provide them justice. She says she would now personally listen to the grievances of transgender persons and try to resolve their problems.

Sobia Khan has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and she plans to complete Master’s in Mass Communication. She works as a host at local radio stations where she highlights problems of transgender community. She says due to financial compulsions she unwillingly adopted the profession of dancing initially, but soon after getting some stability, she quit dancing and now she wants to do respectable jobs, as dancing is not considered a respectable profession in Pakhtun society.

A role model

Social worker Qamar Naseem appreciated the KP Police for encouraging a transgender person to hold important position of responsibility. He says Sobia Khan is a role model for other transgender persons in KP, who can make their mark with hard work and commitment by following the footprints of Sobia.

Qamar says there are about 40,000 transgender persons in KP. He says Sobia has proven that transgender persons can perform responsible jobs other than dancing if they get proper opportunities. He says it is unfortunate that some transgender persons face difficulties in getting jobs even after getting education. He says the discriminatory attitude towards transgender persons must come to an end.

Violence on transgender persons

Qamar Naseem says as many as 83 transgender persons have been killed in KP since 2015, but no culprit has got death sentence, life imprisonment or any other major sentence.

Qamar says although the accused in many cases are arrested, but weak prosecution allows the culprit to escape major punishment. He says transgender persons also don’t pursue the murder cases forcefully which benefit the accused. He says transgender persons remain quite active till filing of the FIR, but then then don’t follow the case and they also face difficulties in hiring lawyers.