The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday granted a young woman permission to undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to become a man and directed the administration of Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) to facilitate her.
According to a report in Dawn, the order was issued by a division bench, which heard a petition filed by the woman requesting the court to allow her the surgery. The case was discussed in detail in light of the Constitution, transgender rights act and other medico-legal aspects.
The petitioner’s lawyer Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel argued that it is the woman’s constitutional right to opt for any surgery or procedure to change her sex as per her desire. He added that Section 2 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 also gives permission to his client to have her gender changed.
According to Kakakhel, the petitioner was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition that involves a conflict between a person’s internal gender identity and the biological sex assigned to them at birth and that it can be treated through SRS. He told the court that his client felt and acted like a man since childhood, even though she looked like a woman because of which she suffered great mental stress.
After examining the case in detail, the bench granted the petitioner the permission and ordered the HMC to facilitate her and present a report on the matter within three months. The report is to detail the sexual status of the petitioner and whether it is possible for her to undergo sex reassignment surgery as well as the risks involved; the medico-legal aspects of the case and how the hospital can facilitate the petitioner.
This is not the first time courts in Pakistan are hearing such a case. In 2015, a resident of Kohat successfully transitioned from female to male after undergoing surgery at a local hospital and later got engaged to a childhood friend. In the same year, two sisters in Chakwal had a sex change after doctors declared them male following a physical examination.