PM Criticized for Linking Rape to Women’s Choice of Clothing

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent comments linking the rise in rape cases with women’s way of clothing, has received immense flake and irked the netizens with many demanding an apology.

Prime Minister in his 2-hour long question and answer session reflected on the how sexual violence continue to accelerate as our country faces increased obscenity due to the influence of Bollywood, Hollywood and the West.

While he pointed out how the government is doing the best it can when it comes to the prevailing situation, he was quick to add how rape and sexual assault cases can be in controlled numbers if modest dressing is adapted.

His comments have been deemed as factually incorrect as well as dangerous by the majority of the public. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent initiative has pointed the Pakistani leader should have chosen his words more carefully, as this would in fact trigger and feed into the rape culture which fosters and allows the victim to be blamed for the flawed system.

Releasing a statement, they provided clarity on the matter: “Not only does this betray a baffling ignorance of where, why and how rape occurs, but it also lays the blame on rape survivors, who, as the government must know, can range from young children to victims of honour crimes,” it said.

The Karachi Chapter of the Women’s Action Forum also showed disappointment towards the callous and damaging remarks.  In a statement on their social media forum, the group said: “Rape is perpetrated by rapists and it’s culture is strengthened by rape apologists. Imran Khan must apologize for these callous and damaging remarks and desist from blaming the victims.”

While the Prime Minister’s ex-wife and strong supporter till date ‘Jemima Khan’ also weighed in on his comments on the rise of sexual harassment against women, stating the Imran she knew used to say “put a veil on the man’s eyes not on the women”, there are still a limited number of influential figures who have vouched for the PM and stated his comments have been taken out of context.  Nevertheless for their stance, they have received equal criticism and sheer judgement.

Musician Rohail Hyatt is one of those who has defended the premier, stating how he never said rape is justified.  In a tweet he mentioned, “As a leader he is simply speaking to us about the ground realities of what is around us,” said Hyatt. “Yes, indeed there is a sickness out there and one can contest if the better solution is to target the oppressor as opposed to the oppressed.”

Pointing out how the criticism comes from a trend where the PM is continuously judged and attacked for being ‘right-minded’ individual, Rohail stated him to be closer to the center.

While he too made a point to suggest that rape is a disease which needs to be eradicated from the source, Rohail advised people that they should keep themselves in the middle ground and not strike support to the extremism at either end of the spectrum. 

By Mehr Jan

Author is an Associate Editor for a leading weekly Sunday Magazine as well as a freelancer for a range of online publications. She pens with passion and feels there isn’t anything better than expressions through words. She aims to highlight all the good amidst the chaos surrounding us. She is currently residing in Islamabad, Pakistan.
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