BANNU: Around 20 transgender people protested against the government in front of Bannu Press Club on Wednesday morning, demanding employment opportunities if they are prohibited from dancing and singing in the district.
On Tuesday, a group of elders from Sabzi Mandi and Andaroon Lakki Gate met DPO Iqbal Khan at his office and demanded the eviction of transgenders from the city. The elders claimed transgenders were the main source of deteriorating law and order in the district.
City police official Ameer Rukhsar Khan said elders and government officials decided the police would crackdown against transgender people and force them to leave if they continued dancing and singing for their livelihood. The official said the DPO gave them a week to quit their activities otherwise they would be expelled from the area.
On Wednesday morning, 20 transgenders living in the city gathered in front of the press club and chanted slogans against the police and district government officials.
The protesters’ leader Rais told journalists they always obey the law and are not involved in any illegal activities.
“The Constitution has given us rights as citizens of Pakistan, however, some people are trying to deprive us of our rights,” said Rais. Rais added if the government wants them to discontinue their present activities, they should be provided alternative means of earning a living.
The police official said the decision is not just of the police but is a collective decision of a jirga.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2014.