Transgender allowed to contest Pakistan polls

For the first time in Pakistan's history, a transgender has been allowed to contest polls, with the country's Election Commission accepting her nomination papers from a constituency here.

Initially the Election Commission had rejected the nomination papers of Bindiya Rana when her supporter failed to show up at the ECP office at the time of filing of papers.

But after filing an appeal, Bindiya has finally got the go ahead to contest the elections.

Bindiya said she wants to highlight the plight of transgenders in Pakistan.

"I have never really cared about the politics in the country. But now I feel the time has come for us common people to also stand up and contest the elections to break this mafia of land owners, businessmen and professional politicians," she said.

Bindiya, who works for the Gender Interactive Alliance of Pakistan, said another reason for her deciding to joining politics was the tragic death of a friend.

"In 2004, a member of our community died and our elders arranged for her body to be sent to her hometown in Punjab which I accompanied. I was shocked at the callous behaviour of the authorities including those at the airport and the police who made fun of my friend and me and asked me how she died and doing what."

Another transgender Veeru Kohli also wants to contest in the May 11 election.

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