Members of the transgender community started registering themselves after the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government announced that transgender individuals possessing Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC) will be able to cast their votes in the next general election.
A total of 15 members of the community have been registered by Thursday. However, sources within the Election Commission reported that none of the community members approached the office on Friday.
“Some members of the community disagreed with writing the name of their provincial Guru in the parent’s column and wanted to use the name of their district Guru instead,” sources said and termed it the reason for the absence of transgender community members on Friday. They added that once they write name of one Guru, it cannot be changed in the future.
Earlier, upon request of the members of the transgender community, the election commission permitted their members to write name of their Guru in the parent’s column. The decision was taken when the community informed the commission that most of its members were unaware of the names of their parents.
Farzana, the provincial Guru of the transgender community, said she was unaware of such reports, when contacted, adding that most community members had agreed to use her name in the parent’s column. “There are different groups in our community. Some members know the names of their parents and they will write their names in the column. The rest will write my name in the parent’s column,” she said.
The election commission has also informed the transgender community that their registration forms will be accepted without attestation.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2012.