Islamabad: Hailing a Supreme Court ruling that transgenders have the same basic rights as every citizen, a Pakistani daily on Thursday said that for years the community had been ostracised socially and denied their rights to respectable jobs, property and inheritance.

An editorial in the Daily Times said that "the state of minorities in Pakistan, whether religious or otherwise, is dismal to say the least". In a landmark ruling on Tuesday, Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry stated that transgender individuals have the same basic rights as every citizen of Pakistan.

"In most of the civilised world, this would be considered a verdict that ought to go without saying but in a place like Pakistan where discrimination and oppression go hand in hand, the wise words of the CJ have given respite to the third gender, a people who have known little more than persecution and prejudice," said the daily.

The editorial pointed out that for years "transgender people have been ostracised socially and have been denied their rights to respectable jobs, property and inheritance".

"They have been living on the fringes of society, pushed there by the same ignorance that has also sealed the fate of many religious minorities," it added.

It went on to say that "this is a welcome move but it must be applauded that the Supreme Court has taken a stand for those who have suffered at the hands of this country's majority".

"The court has wasted no time in making sure that its ruling and directives be sent to the chief secretaries and inspector generals of all the provinces, leaving no room for negligence of these basic human rights.

"It seems that, finally, the third gender will be given a reason to celebrate in Pakistan," the editorial added.

(Agencies)

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