Pakistani man who tried to set up the country

A Pakistani man who tried to set up the nation’s first gay club after returning from the UK has been thrown into a mental hospital.

The man, who was not identified, filed an application to set the club up in Abbottabad, a conservative city in the north of the nation that nearly 240million call home, the Telegraph reports.

The man said, in an application filed to city officials, that the proposed club, which would’ve balled Lorenzo, would be a ‘great convenience and resource for many homosexual, bisexual and even some heterosexual people residing in Abbottabad in particular, and in other parts of the country in general.’

But gay sex is criminalised in Pakistan, and can be punished with prison sentences of up to two years. On top of this, a deeply conservative culture can make it difficult to be openly gay.

So much so that the man was transferred to the Sarhad hospital for psychiatric disease in Peshawar on May 9.

He received much abuse for his application from local citizens and politicians alike.

The leader of the Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI) party, a conservative religious group in the region, claimed that the applicant tried to set up the club had recently returned from a visit to the UK.

One local MP from the far-Right Pakistan Awami Tehreek party said he would’ve doused the club with petrol and set it alight, while the leader of the party, Naseer Khan Nazir, said there would be ‘very severe consequences’ if the club was allowed to go up.

His friends, who were not named, said they were terrified for his wellbeing and had been blocked from visiting him or accessing any information about him.

‘Everyone is afraid that talking about it will put them in danger,’ one said.
‘I do not know about his well-being for many days’ they said, adding that they had ‘tried to find out about him a couple of times but without success’.

Before he was sent to the mental hospital, he told the paper: ‘I talk about human rights and I want everyone’s human rights to be defended.’

‘I have started the struggle for the rights of the most neglected community in Pakistan and I will raise my voice in every forum,’ he said.

‘If the authorities refuse, then I will approach the court and I hope that like the Indian court, the Pakistani court will rule in favour of gay people.’

 

His application states that there would’ve been ‘no gay (or non-gay) sex (other than kissing)’ at the club.

The application added: ‘A clearly visible notice on the wall would warn: no sex on premises. This would mean that no legal constraints (even obsolete ones like [anti-sodomy] PPC section 377) would be flouted on the premises.’

 

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