Current Affairs

Pakistan gripped by trans marriage case

Seth Ewin May 11, 2007
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A couple in Pakistan are facing arrest arrested after doctors concluded the groom was actually a woman, despite a sex change operation.

Shumain Raj, 31, and Shahzina Tariq, 26, married last year, however last week Raj appeared in court to complain about threats from his wife’s relatives, according to a judge Mohammed Sharif.

A warrant was issued on Wednesday by the Lahore High Court after the medics charged with examining Raj submitted their report.

Ejaz Bhatty, a senior doctor who led the medical team told the Khaleej Times that the court medics concluded: “all the evidence supports that the person in question is a woman.”

Raj had told the medics he went to a doctor 16 years ago after noticing his voice had changed and he had started growing facial hair.

Later the same doctor had recommended gender reassignment surgery and had operated on Raj, removing her breasts and uterus.

Judge Sharif said that Raj had appeared in court last week, giving a sworn statement that he was a man and complaining that his wife’s relatives and the police were threatening them with “dire consequences” if they didn’t divorce.

The court had then called the bride’s father, Tariq Hussain, who testified that Raj was a woman.

Hussain urged the court to annul Raj’s September marriage to his 26-year-old daughter, Shahzina Tariq, saying it was against Islam.

The court ordered the pair arrested on suspicion of making a false statement and told police to present them in court on May 16th.

Khaled Mahmood, a police official in Faisalabad, the city about 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Lahore where the couple live, said officers who went to the couple’s home early Thursday found it locked and apparently empty.

Traditionally transsexualism along with homosexuality and cross-dressing are taboo subjects in Pakistan though as reported earlier this year there have been changes in this deeply conservative country.

Begum Nawazish Ali a drag queen played by Ali Saleem, a 28-year-old actor who is openly bisexual has proved a big hit with millions tuning in to watch his show.

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