Alesha’s demise causes uproar in Peshawar

Published: May 26, 2016
People who are transgender mourn the death of their colleague in the city. PHOTO: HIDAYAT KHAN/EXPRESS

People who are transgender mourn the death of their colleague in the city. PHOTO: HIDAYAT KHAN/EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: Alesha’s death triggered uproar in the city, especially among people of the transgender community and social activists.

Now that she is no more, those who knew her had no other way to express their grief but to cry their hearts out. Alesha’s body lay on a charpoy surrounded by incense sticks and roses.

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When she was alive, Alesha would ask her family members to bury her in a graveyard that they could easily visit to offer a prayer. She knew that the society she grew up in had serious reservations against people who were transgender and did not approve of them frequenting public places, including the hospital where she breathed her last.

“I’m her mother and I will keep her promise by burying her in a graveyard where I can easily find her for offering a prayer,” said Farzana, who fostered Alesha, like a mother does. “Alesha was a child when her parents kicked her out of her house – why is our life so miserable?”

Farzana said this sobbing at not only the demise of her daughter, but also at the helplessness they faced.

A shared grief

Alesha’s funeral is billed as the first-ever public funeral for a person who is a transgender in the city.

“The people who invite us to partake in their celebrations should [now] not hesitate in participating in [the] funeral prayers [of one of our own],” Farzana said.

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The funeral was held at the residence of a social activist. Security was arranged at the time of the prayers in the evening.

However, scholars were already consulted by the prayer leader on whether the prayer should be offered or not.

He said Alesha was a Muslim and there was no harm in offering her funeral prayers.

“If we can offer the prayers of murderers and anti-social elements, why can we not offer prayer for a person who was transgender,” he said.

“We had consulted many scholars who said there was no harm in doing so.”

He told The Express Tribune they called Alesha a man during the prayers.

ANP Central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain also attended the final rites.

Irreparable loss

“I feel like Alesha had to leave this world to bring a change and raise a voice against injustice,” said Farzana, who is also the president of Shemale Association of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

She said it had never happened before. “I appreciate [the participation] and thank all the people who gathered for the funeral and arranged a coffin and grave.”

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Farzana added, “We invisibles are being seen in the city now.”

The other bereaved persons who are transgender were seen sitting on the ground, weeping and hugging each other to console for an irreparable loss.

Alesha was bid a final goodbye and laid to rest in Rehman Baba Graveyard, in Durrani Pur area on the outskirts of the city.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2016.


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Reader Comments (8)

  • May 26, 2016 - 9:22AM

    Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Ilaihe Rajeoon. Ameen. We Pakistanis are indubitably illiterate and must bring kindness in our approach to different people’s living here. SalamsRecommend

  • Hasan
    May 26, 2016 - 9:36AM

    Justice for all. Justice delayed is justice denied. LRH must be probed for criminal negligence and dealt with accordingly as per law.Recommend

  • Anti Tranny
    May 26, 2016 - 10:05AM

    The problem is not that they have changed their sex, but the problem is that they induce straight men into homosexual encounters and make them addicted to such sexual behavior. Their main source of income is prostitution and dancing, so that is why they must be eliminated from the society. Just imagine your brother, husband or father indulging in sexual activities with these trans-gendered people, then you will realize how much of a plague they are to the society. Recommend

  • rich
    May 26, 2016 - 11:34AM

    god made everyone, so why is the hesitation in offering prayers to them

    they did not want to be transgender, they were born one

    anti tyranny u are confusing homosesual and TG

    remember she was thrown out of a house as a kidRecommend

  • Hasan
    May 26, 2016 - 12:08PM

    Unless we speak from first hand experience of abuse it is not the right thing to judge others, simply because they are different from us; And it is unethical to generalize based on our (own) prejudices. Are all poor people thieves? Most people would not agree.
    We must understand life because without understanding we make life difficult for our self and others.Recommend

  • SYED
    May 26, 2016 - 9:12PM

    @AntiTranny: Are you sure they all change their OR some of them are trans-gender by nature? Can you tell by personal appearance of some trans-gender person that he/she have changed the sex or he/she is by birth trans-gender ?Recommend

  • Rushdia
    May 27, 2016 - 5:56AM

    Would PMDC please suspend the medical licenses of whoever refused treatment to a patient? Naya KPK!? Recommend

  • May 28, 2016 - 12:01PM


    I think that’s too lenient, whatever joker or bureaucratic petty tyrant decided to send Alesha to the woman’s ward and contributed to his death deserves harsh physical punishment and public humiliation.Recommend

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