ISLAMABAD: PPP leader Sherry Rehman on Thursday took a dig at Prime Minister Imran Khan over his recent comments on the rise of sexual violence in Pakistani society and women’s dressing.
She poked fun at the prime minister’s remarks, wondering whether all men who act in a civilised manner with women are “robots”.
“Just so am clear: are robots all the men who are civilised in their behaviour and interactions with women? Or just those who don’t attack women? In any case, am newly appreciative of all my fellow robot colleagues and friends. Didn’t realise we had such a large population,” she tweeted.
Rehman then said that the problem with the prime minister’s statement was that many “non-robots” were feeling emboldened in their attacks against women.
“The problem is that many non-robots feel emboldened now to act out predations against women. They have been given sanction by a slew of spokeswomen too now citing culture, and society, no outlets etc. Many women are getting threats. So really, no laughing matter. Will PM apologise?” she wondered.
PM Khan, in a recent interview with Axios’s Johnathan Swan, commented on his previous statement of rising cases of rape and sexual violence in Pakistan.
Referring to the prime minister’s earlier remarks on vulgarity that triggered a backlash on social media, Swan had asked him:
“On increasing vulgarity, you said it will have consequences, and you were accused of rape victim-blaming. How do you respond to that?”
In response, the prime minister defended his earlier remarks, saying “it is such nonsense”.
“I never said veils– this was never said. I said the concept of pardah is [to] avoid temptation in society. We don’t have discos here, we don’t have nightclubs,” he said.
“So this is a completely different society, a way of life here. So, if you raise temptation in the society to the point, and all these young guys have nowhere to go, it has consequences on the society,” he stressed.
“Do you think what women wear–that, that’s part of any temptation?” asked Swan.
“If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on men,” the prime minister responded. “Unless they’re robots. I mean, it’s common sense.” “Yes, but will it really provoke acts of sexual violence?” asked Swan.
“It depends which society you live in,” answered PM Khan. “If in a society, people haven’t seen that sort of a thing, it will have an impact on them,” he added. His remarks led to angry responses on social media, with many accusing the prime minister of blaming women and the way they dress, for rising acts of sexual violence.