Julie, Honey, Moona greet nation on Independence Day

Transgender community says Pakistan capable of meeting all challenges

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Transgender Community of Pakistan has expressed its faith in the future of the country and is confident that the country will overcome the challenges of terrorism, energy crisis and unemployment in the days to come.
Talking to Pakistan Observer exclusively on Saturday, the eve of Independence Day, Julie, Honey, Munni, Shilpa, Shanaya, Arooj, Neelum and Gori—representatives of the transgender community of the twin cities— said they felt for the country and loved it like any patriotic Pakistani and were ready to even lay down their lives for the country.
We know the country is facing the biggest challenge of terrorism but we also know the government and the armed forces of Pakistan are taking every possible measure to eliminate this menace, said Julie. Hopefully, the country would come out of this difficult phase and peace will return to our homeland, said Shilpa.
The transgender community representatives were talking at the sidelines of a seminar titled “Celebrating Pakistan Independence Day with marginalized community of Barri Imam”.
The three-session event included a seminar, cake-cutting ceremony and the performance of milli (patriotic) songs. Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) and Islamabad Devcom Centennial Leo Club (IDCLC) in collaboration with the community organization Forum for Dignitary Initiatives (FDI) had organized the event.
Other speakers of the seminar included transgender community guru and president FDI Nadeem Kashish, , Executive Director FDI Uzma Yaqoob, President IDCLC Shaaref Munir, Sibtain Raza Lodhi, Muhammad Hussain Turi, and Riffat Ara Baig. About the problems the community is facing, Julie said they were humiliated when they went out for alms. “When we go out for functions, police arrest us,” she complained.
Shilpa said the government’s announcement for some help never realized. “We need education and employment opportunities to feed our community. Without skills and basic education no one would take us on a job.
The FDI president Guru Nadeem Kashish said the government was reluctant to recognize and resolve the challenges facing the transgender communities. On the eve of Independence Day, we call upon the government to take steps so that we could enjoy respect in society. Speaking on the occasion, the Event Chairperson and Director Devcom-Pakistan Munir Ahmed said “Pakistan is not a country for the elite alone and for those who matter. It is also an abode for down trodden communities.”
IDCLC President Shaaref Munir said the youths of Pakistan are with the transgender community. We shall make efforts to pilot the mainstreaming of transgender communities, the most neglected segment of our society,” he said.

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