Nadra had stopped transgender persons from registering for ‘X’ National Identity Cards (NIC) after the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) ruled against the provisions of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018 in May 2023. The legal profession, civic society, and human rights advocates all opposed the ruling.
Farhatullah Babar, the secretary general of the PPP, challenged the FSC decision in July before the Supreme Court’s Shariat Appellate Bench.
Nadra announced earlier today that it was revoking its prior order to freeze registrations.
Director of Nadra Public Engagement Rida Qazi told Dawn.com that the authority had given instructions to resume printing ‘X’ NICs for transgender people, confirming the trend.
She said that after the FSC judgment, the procedure was first put on hold, but that it has now been resumed because the case is now before the Supreme Court. According to Qazi, Nadra was required by the constitution to produce “X” NICs for transgender people under the advise of its external legal advice branch.
The decision by the authority was praised by Nayyab Ali, director of Transgender Rights Consultants Pakistan.
Ali said on the social media site X, “Congratulations to the entire community of transgender activists in Pakistan for your tireless struggle.
The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) commended Nadra for its prompt and positive response in reinstating the ‘X’ NIC registration process, emphasizing its commitment to safeguarding the rights of all, particularly Pakistan’s marginalized communities. NCHR Chairperson Rabiya Javeri Agha highlighted that possessing a valid NIC was essential for the enjoyment of numerous rights.