PM Imran Khan’s problematic views about raping culture in Pakistan landed him in hot water. During a telethon where members of the public were invited to ask him questions, Imran Khan’s response to one caller was unsettling.
One caller from Hyderabad had two questions for the premier:
- What steps has the government taken to prevent rape and child abuse, and are you satisfied with them?
- Since you speak of the State of Madinah, why isn’t the government hanging rapists in public?
PM Khan Views
Now, instead of answering the question, the prime minister went in a different direction.
At first, Imran Khan acknowledged the rise in sexual crimes against women and children. Even explaining how passing laws cannot do much if people do not report such crimes and utilize the law.
The Prime Minister then linked the rise of vulgarity in the country to the mounting sexual aggression that surfaces as sexual crimes.
“Humare deen mein kyun mana kiya gaya hai? Ye Sara jo parday ka concept hai, yeh kya hai? Ke temptation na ho maashray mein. Har insaan mein will power nahi hota. [The reason why our religion stresses covering up your body and maintaining modesty is to avoid any such temptation. Not everyone has the willpower to avoid it].”
“Our ordinance is quite strict, but it cannot compete alone. Society as a whole must fight. Some wars are won by society.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan blamed ‘fahashi’ (vulgarity) as the root cause of the rise in rape cases and sexual violence in Pakistan.
Reason for Sexual Crimes
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the major factors increasing the risk of rape are ‘attitudes and beliefs, as well as behavior arising from situations and social conditions that provide opportunities and support for abuse‘.
Victim-shaming is an example of beliefs that support abuse and provide opportunities for rape. This takes the responsibility of the crime off the rapist and places the blame on the victim.
As for pedophilia, it is a mental disorder. Consequences do not deter pedophiles, as their brains operate differently from an average healthy individual.
Public Demands for Apology
Soon after his comments, there was an uproar on social media. Many called out the premier for his ‘insensitive remarks. PM views set Twitter on fire.
Prime Minister Imran Khan needs to enlighten himself more about the complexities of sexual violence against children and females. Rape of children is not a sexual act, it's a sickness of mind. Rape of women is not about sexual pleasure, it is a sick inhuman display of power. 1/2
— Mehr Tarar (@MehrTarar) April 4, 2021
What's most striking while watching Imran Khan speak about rape is that he doesn't speak like a prime minister, but rather like an uncle who has a crackpot theory for everything. Stick to policy. This Morality Uncle shtick isn't why you were elected, we have whatsapp for that.
— Shaheryar Mirza (@mirza9) April 5, 2021
This isn't the first time #Pakistan PM Imran Khan has linked rape & obscenity. In a September interview after the motorway rape case, he said “fahaash” (vulgar) content had led to a rise in sexual crimes, saying Bollywood was the reason New Delhi was the rape capital of the world https://t.co/1hZSKsHZ5A
— Mehreen Zahra-Malik (@mehreenzahra) April 5, 2021
It is quite disturbing to hear such things from PM Imran Khan. It seems like, it’s PM’s habit to blame others for the sake of escape. He used to blame previous governments first and now in his era, he started blaming the public for vulgarity.
He mentioned several times that we as a society should fight rape and “vulgarity” but he never mentioned educating people on why this is wrong. By blaming vulgarity, he’s removing the onus from the rapist. What he should be saying is we must teach men that rape is wrong regardless of what the victim is wearing or doing.
Safe return to home for a woman should consider as an achievement for the government, not for women or kids themselves.
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