For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the country’s transgender community will be included in the national population census, a top provincial court ruled on Monday.
The Lahore High Court instructed the federal government, National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and the Interior Ministry to include the transgender community in the census while hearing a petition filed by a transgender person, Waqar Ali, in November 2016.
Ali in his petition called for the enforcement of the community’s fundamental rights, including enrolment in the upcoming census and issuance of national identity cards specifying their gender. A deputy attorney general from the federal government was present in court during the hearing and assured the court that the transgender community will be part of the upcoming census.
Earlier, Ali had filed a writ petition pleading that the transgender community has been marginalised, citing an event witnessed in Sialkot where a transgender was tortured. Pakistan’s sixth population census will begin on March 15, 2017.