While putting America last and making it dependent on foreign oil, the left has achieved some notable success in exporting one cultural commodity to developing nations like Pakistan, namely transgenderism.
While people identifying as trans—mostly males dressed as females—have maintained a long-known presence in Pakistani sub-culture, they never got national attention as a movement until recently. Mostly, the trans people took dancing and entertaining as means of their livelihood, but prostitution has been an unofficial profession for many of them for decades. Private concerts and wedding parties still frequently hire trans performers for entertaining mostly male audiences.
In May 2018, shortly before the general election brought a new administration into power, Pakistan’s parliament passed the Transgender Persons Act that ensures not only protection of rights for trans people but also allows any citizen to self-identify as any gender of their choice in their government IDs.
The new government of ex-cricket player Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Movement for Justice) took to repeatedly accusing the west for its “Islamophobia” and at the same time received support from the leftists in America. Democrat Sheila Jackson-Lee (Texas) has long been working closely with the Pakistan American Congressional Caucus, which among other things works toward employing Pakistanis in American political system.
The new government of PTI supported the transgender law passed by its predecessor and accordingly was rewarded soon as the Biden administration took the oval office. In December 2020, before Biden officially became the president, the Democrat-led congress approved $10 million for gender programs in Pakistan as part of a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill supposed to help Americans. No details of how this money would specifically be used were provided to the media. But it’s a well-known unofficial truth that money from the west for social programs is distrusted to a web of government and non-profit projects working in collaboration for the same objectives.
Aside from finances and political support, leftist media and entertainment industry notably raised its efforts to promote trans people, mainly men dressed as females and identifying as women or non-binary but in obvious feminine get-up. Suddenly trans people are running for public offices and featured in TV shows as anchors or honored guests. Recently, just a month after the PTI government was voted out in Pakistan and replaced with a coalition government, the American embassy in Islamabad tweeted about supporting and strengthening the LGBTQ community in Pakistan.
The tweet drew criticism from the Islamic-minded conservatives in Pakistan. Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan’s well-known Islamist party, condemned the US embassy’s message on Twitter in strong words and in his own tweet called it “cultural terrorism.” He also shared his video clip of suggesting amendment in the transgender law to prevent its abuse. His recommendation for amendment calls for a medical board examining anyone who wants to change their gender and approving or rejecting it. This drew condemnation from liberal PTI member Shireen Mazari, who claimed that such a set-up would lead to abuse of people seeking a new gender identity.
It is worth noting that pushing for tran rights so far has not opened the debate for gay rights in Pakistan. Under Pakistan’s Islamic law, homosexuality is illegal and punishable as a criminal offense. Few lawmakers, if any at all, so far have brought up gay rights or same-sex marriage for debate in media or on the house floor.