PESHAWAR: Speakers at a consultative seminar on Transgender stressed the need for equal rights to transvestite in every sector of life saying they are also part of the society. The consultative seminar was held with title, “A Provincial Consultation on the Needs of Protection Policy on rights of transgender Persons”, organized by Blue Veins and TransAction Alliance in collaboration with Asia Foundation, held here at a local hotel on Wednesday. The consultation aimed at engaging multi stakeholders in providing input for the proposed policy document. Those who spoke on the occasion were including Adviser to Chief Minister (CM) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Information Mushtaq Ghani, Director for Human Rights (HR) Saqlain, National Commission Human Rights (NCHR) Rizwan, Mufti Shaukat, President TransAction Alliance (TAA) Rarzana Jan, programme Officer Asia Foundation Farman. Dr Fahad, Anaya Zarkhail, Nadeem Kashis, Uzma Yaqub and Taimor Kamal and representatives from civil societies. Mushtaq Ghani said that the provincial government was well aware regarding issues and sufferings being faced by the transvestites of KP and that’s why it had allocated Rs 20 million in the budget to mitigate their problems particularly health. He informed that KP Government was devising strategy to the she-male persons for Insaf cards so that they could also be facilitated the health cards. However, he added the PTI-led government was also planning to give loans to the real eunuchs in order to run their own businesses it would help the transgender persons lessening their ordeals. It was discussed that despite progressive measures by the Supreme Court of Pakistan transgender community continues to face a plethora of problems. Transgender persons are sidelined and treated as untouchables. The denial of social justice leads to the denial of economic and political justice. They suffer from poor access to education, healthcare, legal aid, employment and lack of social acceptance. Measures towards sensitization of school administrations, curbing of stigma, discrimination and violence against transgender persons are also mostly absent. They are discriminated against in access to medical services and most hospitals lack adequate skills or provisions to meet their special health needs. The State should seriously address the problems being faced by transgenders such as fear, shame, gender, dysphonia, social pressure, depression, suicidal tendencies, social stigma, etc. Farzana Jan thanked the Govt of Khyber Pakhtukhwa who recently announced to prepare the protection policy to safeguard the rights of the transgender persons. She said that “The Supreme Court’s decision had laid out a charter of possibilities for transgender rights in the country, the protection policy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will concretize the rights framework and will serve as crucial initiation of a much-needed conversation”. Qamar Naseem of Blue Veins who is also member of the Chief Ministers special committee on the rights of Transgender community KP and part of the drafting committee said that ” Not only Pakistan” KP Will be the First South Asian Province to have a transgender Protection Policy. We will draft the policy after consultation so that the voice of all stakeholders can be reflected” Mufti Shaukat of Darul Uloom Haqaia said, “The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether a person is Muslim or not. Islam also protects honour. So, in Islam, insulting others or making fun of them is not allowed. They are created human beings as equals who are to be distinguished from each other only on the basis of their faith and piety”, he explained Islamic principles. He said to devise a policy for equal rights is good step but to conflict it with Sharia (Islamic teachings) will definitely create problems. “Every law for benefit of human being should be enacted but under Islamic rules in Pakistan as it had been brought into being in the name of Islam”, he advised. Naeem Director of Social Welfare Department said ” We need to have proactive participation of transgender persons in all democratic spaces and systems including participation in policies framed for their welfare State should take measures to regain their respect and place in the society which they once enjoyed in our cultural and social life. Farukh Saqlain said, “Legal safeguards to prevent human rights violations of the transgender community and institutional mechanism to address their specific concerns have to be put in place without protection of human rights.