For the first time, transgenders in Pakistan can use the name of their ‘gurus’ as parents in their computerised national identity cards, authorities have said. The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), the country’s computerised national identity cards (CNICs) issuing authority, informed this to the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday, during the hearing of a plea of a transgender, Mian Aasia.
It also told the court that a comprehensive procedure for issuance of the identity card to the transgenders has been devised which is similar to the registration of orphans with unknown parentage. “A transgender person will now be able to use the name of his/her gurus as parents and furnish witness of any CNIC. The registration of gurus will be carried out at NADRA headquarters through a module already being used for registration of orphans,” it said.
The NADRA said that the CNICs of transgenders with unknown parentage would be processed by selecting random parents name from the database and registered guru would be the head of applicant (transgender) and would give biometric verification.
Aasia had approached the court after NADRA officials refused to renew her identity card with the name of her late guru as parent. She was issued a CNIC in 2004 with the name of her guru, Mohammad Yusuf, as her parent. But Yusuf died in 2005. Aasia’s counsel Mehtab Chughtai told the court that the petitioner’s identity card had expired in 2011. She visited the NADRA office concerned for its renewal with the same family details.
The petitioner had also provided the death certificate of her guru to the NADRA officials but they refused to renew her card with the name of her late guru as parent, he said.
Chughtai argued that NADRA’s action was discriminatory, based on mala-fide intention and violation of fundamental rights of the petitioner. He asked the court to order NADRA to issue the CNIC to the petitioner as per the previous details.
The NADRA told the LHC that the grievance of the petitioner stood addressed as she had been issued a new CNIC as per the previous details, following which LHC Justice Shahid Karim disposed of the petition.