A lot has been made of recent transgender rights progress in Pakistan and rightfully so. Tragically despite the legal and religious progress Pakistani transgender still face heartbreaking discrimination and daily violence.
Police criminality and complicity with the medical community’s indifference remain enemy one to Pakistan’s transgender community, especially in the northern territories.
The latest murder is heartrendering.
Tabbu was killed in Karak while coming back to her home in Kohat after performing at a wedding ceremony in Tehsil Banda Daud Shah.
Video posted to Facebook went viral as her friends desperately pleaded for a doctor at hospital, but to no avail.
Monday transgender people protested the murder of Tabbu at the Lahore Press Club. The protest also drew attention to the hospital’s refusal to treat Tabbu and a friend who was with her. Pakistan Today reports that protesters came from Peshawar, Kohat, Swabi, and Mardan to bring attention to the inhumanities being committed against trans people in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) They demand that the provincial government takes action against the killers and that of the 63 other killers who remain free in the KP.
The police arrested the wedding host implying that the case was resolved, but have not arrested or made mention the man who shot her.
A transgender community leader in Peshawar, Arzoo told Peshawar Today that there was a frightening rise in violence and hate crimes against transgender people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “The brutal killing of transgender persons in the province has become a routine matter now. Almost every now and then, we get to hear such sad news,” she told this scribe in an interview”.
Taimor Kamal, a representative of Trans Action, told the scribe that 63 transgender persons had been killed across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since 2015. However, none of the murderers was imprisoned so far. “Protection of a transgender person in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has become challenging and the government and police failed to provide them security” he deplored”. He further added there was no legislation for the transgender community in the province and the law was vague with regard to lodging of an F.I.R against the assailants and their medical treatment in the hospitals.