By: Mahwish Akhtar.
Transgender (also referred to as khusra) reflects a group of people who enjoys the least amount of respect or rights in Pakistan. Due to the controversial nature and typical mindset of people, the subject of Transgender rights in Pakistan is not even discussed in sophisticated circles. Most people do not even consider them as a part of their community; massive rejections are often faced by transgenders in almost all the parts of Pakistan.
According to recent research studies conducted on transgenderism, approximately one out of 50 children are identified with a transgender tendency/ potential. In other words, about 2 percent population of Pakistan is affected by transgenderism.
In our society, transgenders are usually first identified by the families. The community often mistakes them as pre-homosexuals and most Pakistani families become aggressive towards them. For example, strict warnings are given to them to change their attitude and most of them are rejected by their communities and loved ones.
I have often wondered why it is that generally there is hatred for ‘transgender’ in Pakistan. The term means different things to different people. At a very basic it means being born not knowing which gender you belong to.
A myth seems to have formed that they cannot do any work except for sing and dance. I wonder who started this, the downwards spiral of degradation. Now they are not treated as equal, they live in secluded communities with their own kind, often in extreme poverty. Most are uneducated as the notion of a transgender child being brought up in a normal household and studying in a mainstream school is not an acceptable reality.
As Pakistanis, we need to realize that this is not merely a war that these individuals have to fight they are human beings, just like us, and deserve as much of a right to education and these individuals have voices that are not heard by anyone. We need to be the voice that speaks on their behalf, fights for their rights and makes living for them less painful.
Riffie Khan has a Double Master’s degree from Shah Abdul Latif University in Shikarpur in Economics and Political Sciences. However, despite her academic achievements, she has been unable to hold down a job.
In 2003, Khan was forced to leave her job at the National Medical Centre in Karachi, where she worked as front desk officer, because she did not fit in.
Khan is one of many transgender people in the country who suffer in their professional and personal lives due to discrimination. “It’s the educated people that upset me the most,” she says. “When they discriminate against people like me, it hurts even more.”
RIGHTS OF TRANSGENDER
The answer is pretty straightforward. Transgenders and LGBT community are considered as a sign of shame and disgrace in the Pakistani culture. Most of these individuals never get a chance to acquire education in the regular schools due to discriminatory treatment and disgusting attitude of fellow citizens.
Consequently, most of these individuals have no other option, but to make their living by singing and dancing alongside the road or in private parties. Additionally, transgenders are usually not encouraged to live amongst regular mohalla’s. They are bound to establish their own colonies outside of regular communities.
There are several other issues that are faced by transgenders in Pakistan; such as:
- There is no government aid or support system to help these individuals live a normal life.
- Government institutions and other governing bodies are known to harass these individuals.
- In case of any criminal victimization or even sexual harassment, these individuals get no help/ support from the community or government institutions.
- Due to literally no job opportunities and financial security, most members of the transgender community is forced to make their living by prostitution.
Current Legislative Situation for Transgender Rights in Pakistan
In last elections, many transgenders in Pakistan wrote the history by casting their vote to choose their political representative. This decision of Supreme Court was successfully presided by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.
In 2009, Supreme Court also passed the order of including the category of ‘third gender’ in the national identity card form. Transgenders in Pakistan were awarded the right to REGISTER as a third gender on their CNICs in 2012. a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, ruled that the transgender community is equally entitled to rights guaranteed in the Constitution to all citizens, including the right of inheritance after the death of parents, job opportunities, free education and health care.
However, while their rights are guaranteed on paper, members of the transgender community say they do not have these rights in practice and provincial welfare departments have yet to implement the decision.
As a result, they continue to face discrimination from society. They largely depend on a livelihood of singing and dancing at weddings and birth celebrations. They are also treated as sex objects and often become the victims of violent assault.
- The supreme court of Pakistan has legally declared recently that transgenders have equal rights and are a normal citizen of Pakistan. The latest decision includes equality in all aspects including rights in inheritance after the death of parents, job opportunities and hiring of individuals etc. In 2009, Supreme Court also passed the order of including the category of ‘third gender’ in the national identity card form. In fact, in the last elections, many transgenders in Pakistan wrote the history by casting their vote to choose their political representative. This decision of Supreme Court was successfully presided by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhary.
- Besides government, several non-government bodies are also taking an active interest in improving the quality of life in the transgender community. For example, one such name is Gender Interactive Alliance.
- Although, this is perhaps the first initiative taken by Pakistani Government to safeguard the transgender rights in Pakistan, I best hope that this will bring a true change in the mindsets of people as well. It is high time we start respecting individuals based on their individuality and not our judgment of their character and sexuality.
Interested in showbiz? Read more about Kapil Sharma Upcoming Movies
Jawani Phir Nahi Aani: What could we expect from it’s sequel
Jawani Phir Nahi Aani (JPNA), the fun-filled flick that became the highest grossing Pakistani movie, is ready for its bigger and better successor to break the box office records again.
Directed by Nadeem Baig, JPNA 1 was declared the highest earning blockbuster film of 2015. Because of its ultimate package of entertainment, the movie left the fans mesmerized.
The prequel’s plot revolves around five friends – Humayun Saeed, Vasay Chaudhry, Ahmed Ali Butt, and Hamza Ali Abbasi. The performances by all characters were totally fabulous with critics also lauding the flick for packed with entertainment.
Humayun Saeed announced that the heartthrob of Pakistani youngsters Fahad Mustafa will join the trio in the next episode of Jawani Phir Nahi Aani, replacing Hamza Ali Abbasi who decided not to appear in the sequel because of his other commitments.
Also, the reports have been doing rounds since the announcement of JPNA 2 that the director of the move Nadeem Baig also tried to rope in the veteran Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor to star in the second installment.
However, the Indian media claimed that the actor politely turned down the offer.
Fans are now waiting to see the leading ladies as it is still a mystery because Saeed did not mention the names. The JPNA 1 featured Sohai Ali Abro, Sarwat Gillani, Mehwish Hayat, Uzma Khan, and Ayesha Khan.
Let’s see if the same girls would be made part of the upcoming episode.
Kapil Sharma’s Upcoming Movies in 2017, 2018
He came, he struggled, and he conquered the industry. He started his career as a stand-up comedian and with the passage of time, he managed to grab a seat in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. The 38-year-old Sikh origin guy rose to fame from the same platform and now he is the world-famous comedian with the highest TRP ratings. Kapil Sharma struggled as a comedian for almost a decade. He was born in 1981 in a Punjabi Sikh family in 1981. His father was a head constable in Amritsar who was not able to earn much to foot the bill for his family.
Kapil Sharma started his early education in his native town and graduated from the Hindu College Amritsar. Mr. Sharma had no interest in the education. However, it was his father who wanted him to get at least high school studies. Kapil started his career during his college days and he reached Mumbai in the year 2007 for the auditions of the Laughter Challenge. The guy had some serious interest to unleash his true potential that led to his success. He was the winner of the show and got the prize money upto 10 lac.
After this, he found the doors of the industry open to him. Kapil was then invited to many reality shows to perform. He participated in Comedy Circus organised by Sony TV and it was a big hit. Kapil also hosted many other shows including a dance show Jhalak Dikhla Ja which was aired on Colors TV.
The story of Kapil’s successes doesn’t end here. Mr. Comedian wanted to grab a lead role in Bollywood films. It was not possible at first as he was being offered only side roles. However, he made his mind to start with the supporting roles and he appeared in a 2011 flick Bhavnao Ko Samjho where he played the role of a Thakur’s son. He soon realized that the role did not get him much fame. He was waiting for a role which could earn him the step he wanted to put on the road to stardom.
His prayers were answered after four years as he was offered a lead role in a 2015 comedy movie Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon. He was featured with four girls in the movie. However, it was not a big hit and only earned him one award by the Sony Guild Film Awards in the category of Promising Debut Male. He has already bagged many awards for his predominant talent.
Kapil’s Achievements and Awards
The comedy king was honoured with the Best Actor-Comedy award for the Sony TV comedy show Kahaani Comedy Circus Ki which featured Sohail Khan and Archana Puran Singh. In the year 2013, he received an award for his high-rated show Comedy Nights with Kapil. Another achievement for him was in 2016 when he received the ‘Entertainer of the Year’ Award by CNN-IBN Indian of the Year.
Kapil Sharma Upcoming Movies Project
Kapil Sharma is still on the route of success and he is earning more fame than any other comedian. Since he has debuted in Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon, he has been busy in the Bollywood-related projects. His upcoming project is Firangi, a Hindi-language historical period drama film set in the year 1920. Kapil is the producer of the film. The movie features Kapil Sharma in the lead role, Ishita Dutt, and Monica Gill. The expected release date of the movie is November 10, 2017.
We wish him all the best for his project.
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Reminiscing the life of Arfa Karim – A star who faded early
Arfa Karim Randhawa, the Faisalabad born world’s youngest IT expert was the pride of Pakistan who displayed signs of an extraordinary memory from a very youthful age. She was the brightest star the world has ever witnessed. Arfa was a gift from the God to her family and this nation. Her father has always said that her daughter was the shining star of his family.
The girl, described as one of Pakistan’s brightest brains by the founder and chairman of Microsoft Bill Gates, had always dreamed of the future of technology in Pakistan. She followed her dreams and achieved the goals she set in her early age. With her finest IT skills at the age of six, she developed her interest in the world of computers and got full command on using Windows and its application software in just two years time span.
Technology & Innovation
Arfa Kareem was learning Microsoft Certified Application Development at APTECH. She started to work on application development in the early months of her studies.
The girl was sharp and had a faster pace. She became the proud girl of Pakistan when she achieved the title of “The World’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional”. She held this title for two years from 2004 till 2006. The most inspiring aspect she gave to the world and the young generation is that she was always proud of her achievements and, for instance, she set her email signature “Youngest MCP in the World.”
Arfa Karim Awards
Upon completing her course, Arfa Karim Randhawa got the happiest moment in her life when she was invited by Mr. Bill Gates to visit Microsoft headquarters based in the United States in 2004. The proud daughter of the state was only nine when she got the chance to meet the world’s richest man.
Besides, she was also honoured by the Pakistan government on her return from the United States with dozens of awards including Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of Science and Technology, Pride of Performance award from the then President of Pakistan. This was one of her biggest achievements as she was the youngest recipient of this award ever.
Not only this, Arfa Kareem was also tendered the invitation by Microsoft in 2009 for a keynote session in a THE-Ed Developers conference held in Barcelona, making her the only Pakistani in the conference among 5000 developers from all over the world.
The expertise of this young Randhawa girl doesn’t end here. According to her father, she was a very ingenious child and penned many poems. This one is a single piece from her poem diary where she describes the loveliness and the freedom of her thoughts.
Like a bird in the sky
Flying freely and so high
Like a fish in the water
And the king’s beautiful daughter
Like a tiny little mouse
Eating cheese around the house
Like a bear in the mountain
And the water in the fountain
Like a lion in the jungle
Roaring loudly with hunger
Like a monkey in the zoo
All the time copying you
Unfortunately, the brightest star of Pakistan started to lose its shine from December 22, 2011. Arfa Kareem had a cardiac arrest after an epileptic seizure, doctors said that she had suffered brain damage that had left her in the coma, and shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (Lahore). Mr. Bill Gates organised the U.S.A best doctors’ panel that was continuing contact with the assisting doctors of Arfa Kareem. Mr. Gates endured all her medical expenses.
Nevertheless, she showed some sign of improvement. However, after battling for life for 26 days, Arfa left this world for good on January 14, 2012 at the young age of sixteen, leaving her family and lovers in a deep grief.
Not just Microsoft Certification but the girl taught us to chase future technologies.
The shining star of Pakistan had numerous dreams of taking her country to the next level. She wanted free education, a separate IT city and much more for the people of Pakistan. Arfa Kareem was certain to fly high in her career, but something else was in store for her and the ‘unfortunate’ parents.
After her death, Arfa Karim’s father said in an interview that her daughter wanted to bring the top IT experts to Pakistan for an IT City project. She was working on providing a great platform to the youth of Pakistan where they could grow with their professional skills. But it was unfortunate that the project was also buried alongside Arfa and no one tried to work on Arfa’s dream. Even the government did not take on her project and the country never got an IT City where the youth could get the expertise from international experts.