Meezan Bank refuses to open account of transgender

Asif Khan Turk

PESHAWAR: Meezan Bank has refused to open the account of a Mansehra-based transgender, Nadra Khan on the ground of her income being allegedly prohibited in Shariah (Islamic Law), despite the process completion of her application for account opening.

Talking to this scribe here on Saturday, Nadra Khan said that she had applied for opening of her newly-established company’s account at Meezan Bank’s Lari Ada Mansehra branch and the bank’s officials processed her application by doing her biometric verification and taking Rs2,000 for initial credit transaction in the account, adding that on January 9, 2021, she received a text message from the bank that her company’s account had been opened and account number was issued, so she could collect the cheque book.

She maintained that she could not collect the cheque book in time due to few urgent works, however, on January 14, 2021, she received a call from the bank that her company’s account had to be closed as the bank could not entertain her application for opening the account due to her income/money being allegedly prohibited and illegal as per Shariah.

In response to this, she visited the bank to discuss the matter with Branch Manager but she was again told that her company’s account could not be opened as it was the decision of the bank’s Shariah Supervisory Board (SSB) and they were bound to implement its decisions and guidelines.

Nadra Khan further stated that being disappointed with the behaviour of the bank, she complained to district administration Mansehra to look into the matter, however, the bank advanced other invalid and baseless reasons for not opening the account to the district administration, so she again got disappointed and informed her transgender community and human rights activists to raise their voice for her.

Qamar Naseem, a human rights activist and Program Coordinator, Blue Veins, has said on this issue that moral policing was not the job of any bank but to serve the customers without any discrimination of race, religion, cast, language and gender, adding that it was very unfortunate that the State Bank had not yet taken any notice of this issue which disappointed the human rights activists.

When this scribe contacted senior lawyer Ashraf Khan Gadoon to know the legal aspect of the matter, he said that it was not the authority of banks to check the status of morality, gender or any other aspect of their customers’ lives, but to serve the public. He added that transgender had full rights like other human beings and there was no restriction on opening their bank accounts as per the Constitution and laws of the land.

He said when the bank processed the application and took money for initial transaction, it was legally bound to operational the account, otherwise the customer may take legal action against the bank, adding that he was ready to provide free legal aid to the affected person as it was a matter of great importance in perspective of human rights violations.

Here, it is to be mentioned that this scribe tried many times to contact the officials of Meezan Bank including its Regional Manager Peshawar to take his version but he did not respond to calls and messages.

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There are 1 comments for this article

  1. Barkatullah Marwat Feb-28-2021 09:24:pm

    Excellent story

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