KARACHI: Once constrained to singing and dancing at gatherings or plying the flesh trade, the transgendered community have stepped up their efforts to be represented in the parliament to fight for their rights.
Bindiya Rana, president of the Gender Interactive Alliance has decided to contest for a seat in the provincial assembly, standing from PS-115 in Karachi.
Bindiya claims that she wants to be an agent of change in traditional politics.
“In the last five years, we have only seen politicians fighting, criticising each other and making false promises. But I promise today, that transgenders from all across Pakistan will participate in the up-coming elections and bring a change,” she said.
Bindiya has obtained nomination papers for the areas of Bahadurabad, Mehmoodabad and Tariq Road. The seat was won by Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Raza Haroon in the 2008 elections.
Bindiya claims that if she comes to power, she will relieve the area of all its debts.
“If we win, we will change those areas completely. We will relieve the area of its outstanding debts and the common man’s problems will be taken care of.”
Bindiya would not be the first transgender to contest the upcoming polls. In February, Sanam Fakir- a transgender from Sukkur, had also filed papers to run as an independent from her area.
This would be the first time in Pakistan’s history that transgenders would be contesting elections.
There are approximately 80,000 transgenders in the country at the moment. In November 2011, the Supreme Court had ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to enlist them as a part of the voters list and had asked the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to expedite the process of issuing news CNICs so that there would be no hiccups. However, as recent as January 2013, only a handful of the transgender community had been issued CNICs which listed them under the newly created category of third gender.