Transphobia

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A reckless targeted attack on trans-persons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has again excelled limelight on the bitter realities of life for this cruelly marginalized community. A story published recently in a newspaper uncovered that a toxic belief that one ‘owns’ the person they desire is behind men violently attacking and killing trans-persons in KP. Experts say that a culture of impunity has taken root over the years, with the murder of trans-persons seldom prosecuted and killers walking free without being punished for their crimes. The recent increase in homicides and violent attacks are a clear indication that the issue is at the bottom of the provincial police list. Indeed, the biggest complaint raised by representatives of the public is that the police reorganized the investigation and failed to register the relevant FIRs and gather the necessary evidence to convict the killers. Families of transgender people, too, have little to do with prosecuting murder cases, as they are completely separate and refuse to participate even in the burial of their loved ones or simply pocket ‘blood money and allow the killers to walk free.  Therefore, while efforts by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to achieve greater international integration are commendable, it is clear that legislation alone will not suffice. There needs to be a greater public awareness of the problems facing the transgender community in order to encourage citizens to invite transgender people into the wider community. In terms of preventing mass deaths, the government may consider a public request for the state to participate in murder cases. As the victims do not leave behind any real heirs who are determined to fight for their cause, the state should intervene by supporting the trans community and providing resources to hire strong legal counselors to prosecute the killers.

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