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War of words between Blue Veins, Transgender activist Arzoo Khan turns into legal battle

  • NGO serves legal notices of Rs 75 million on Aarzoo for leveling allegations of embezzling trans community donations
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By Hamid Khan Wazir

PESHAWAR, Pakistan: In an unprecedented development, the war of words between Blue Veins, a civil society organization (CSO) and the transgender activist Arzoo Khan turned into a full-scale legal battle as the former served legal notices of whooping Rs 75 million on the later seeking damages for leveling allegations against it of taking millions of rupees in funds from international donors.

The transgender person alleged that the NGO embezzled the money instead of spending it on the transgender community.

Taking notice of the allegations, the CSO, which has been working for the rights and welfare of the transgender community, women, and children for the last 20 years, has sent two separate notices to Amanullah, a transgender known by her acquired name of Aarzoo.

In the notices, sent through a lawyer, Gul Rehman Mohmad Advocate, the Blue Veins, and Qamar Naseem, a noted social worker associated with the same CSO, have sought damages from Aarzoo amounting to Rs 50million and 25 million, respectively.

Both have accused Aarzoo Khan of making a deliberate attempt to defame Blue Veins, Qamar Naseem and even bring into disrepute the Social Welfare and Women Development Department (SWWDD) officials and members of the provincial Assembly (MPAs) by making allegations that were carried by a section of the local press and aired through a private TV channel.

Talking to this scribe, Qamar Naseem said that they alleged that officials of social welfare organization and Qamar Naseem embezzled the Rs 20 crore allocated for the welfare of Trans community by the government in 2018. However, he said that the amount was with the government so there is no question of embezzlement, which was lapsed and not used by the government. He said that they filed the case so if they have any proof against him and the organization so they could present before the court.

Few days ago, Aarzoo Khan blamed that the Blue Veins first established an NGO Trans Action which has no bank account and then Trans Action Alliance was made. These two names were used to get millions of rupees in funds but all the funds went to Blue Veins instead.

“In 2016 I was elected as member Board of Directors (BoG) but neither invited for a single meeting in all years nor was I briefed on any project. Blue Veins is using the transgender name but working on its personal agenda,” she said.

She charged that the Blue Veins spent lavishly on government officials by arranging tours for them and that was why no one was talking against it.

She asked international donors to stop funding for Blue Veins and threatened that if action was not taken against the NGO then they would be forced to start a protest against the NGO across the province.

However, responding to the allegations, the notices read that Blue Vein had been duly registered with the SWWDD for the last two decades and maintained fully transparent bank accounts and have required NOCs and MOUs from provincial and Federal governments to operate.

The notices said the CSO had always volunteered to assist the government departments and members of the Provincial Assembly for free in all efforts for ensuring rights to the transgendered persons, women and children by consenting to be part of various official committees constituted for the purpose.

Rejecting the allegations of embezzlement of funds released by the SWWDD to the Blue Veins, counsel said the CSO had never received any financial help from the above-mentioned department.

The legal notices asked the transgender person to prove her allegations as Blue Veins intended to move a court of law to let justice take the due course.

The Blue Vein wondered that the transgender person in question remained associated and part of several activities of CSO till recent past and regularly participated in various functions but had now come out to get cheap popularity by defaming the same organization.

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