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NADRA Restarted the Registration Process for Transgender

Nadra resumes transgender person registration after a 3-month halt.

Following a verdict by the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) against some provisions of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018 in May 2023, this decision was made. Transgender people’s ‘X’ National Identity Card (NIC) registration was suspended by Nadra as a result of the FSC’s ruling, which was met with criticism from the legal profession, civil society, and human rights advocates.

Farhatullah Babar, the secretary general of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), appealed the FSC’s decision to the Supreme Court’s Shariat appellate court in July. Today, Nadra retracted its prior directive to freeze registrations in a notification.

The ‘X’ NIC for transgender people is now again being printed, said to Rida Qazi, Nadra’s director of public engagement. She claimed that Nadra is legally required to issue these cards based on the advice of its external legal consulting branch. The ruling was hailed as a triumph for the transgender community’s tenacious advocacy by Nayyab Ali, the director of Transgender Rights Consultants Pakistan.

The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) praised Nadra for its quick action and choice to restart the ‘X’ NIC registration procedure. For access to numerous rights and services, NCHR Chairperson Rabiya Javeri Agha underlined the significance of possessing a current NIC.

The National Assembly passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018 to formally acknowledge transgender people and end discrimination against them. However, the law was subject to legal challenges, which resulted in the FSC’s May 2023 decision that invalidated several of the act’s provisions because they were incompatible with Sharia law. This choice has elicited a range of responses and is still being discussed and investigated legally.

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