Pakistan PM Imran Khan blames how women dress for rise in rape cases
Pakistan PM Imran Khan blames how women dress for rise in rape cases and says ‘not everyone has the willpower to avoid it’
- Khan said modest dress for women was important for men without ‘willpower’
- The 68-year-old said ‘incidents of rape had very rapidly increased in society’
- He advised women to practice purdah (covering up) ‘to avoid temptation’
- Former first class cricketer said ‘not everyone has the willpower to do it’
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has blamed how women dress for the rise in rape cases which not everyone has the ‘willpower’ to avoid.
The former cricketing playboy said the ‘rapid’ increase in rapes indicated the ‘consequences in any society where vulgarity is on the rise’.
Khan, 68, advised women to cover up to prevent temptation for men who lacked ‘willpower.’
‘This entire concept of purdah (covering up or segregating) is to avoid temptation, not everyone has the willpower to avoid it,’ Khan said.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a news conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, February 4, 2020
Hundreds have signed a statement circulating online Wednesday calling Khan’s comments ‘factually incorrect, insensitive and dangerous’.
‘Fault rests solely with the rapist and the system that enables the rapist, including a culture fostered by statements such as those made by (Khan),’ the statement said.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent rights watchdog, said Tuesday it was ‘appalled’ by the comments.
A woman wearing Islamic dress (file photo)
‘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.
Pakistan is a deeply conservative country where victims of sexual abuse are often viewed with suspicion and criminal complaints are rarely seriously investigated.
Much of the country lives under an ‘honour’ code where women who bring ‘shame’ on the family can be subjected to violence or murder.
It regularly ranks among the worst places in the world for gender equality.
Nationwide protests erupted last year when a police chief admonished a gang-rape victim for driving at night without a male companion.
The Franco-Pakistani mother was assaulted in front of her children on the side of a motorway after her car ran out of fuel.
Last year, Khan was also criticised after another television appearance where he failed to challenge a Muslim cleric’s insistence that coronavirus had been unleashed because of the wrongdoings of women.
The latest controversy comes as the organisers behind International Women’s Day marches battle what they have called a coordinated disinformation campaign against them, including doctored images and videos circulated online.
It has led to blasphemy accusations – a hugely sensitive issue in Pakistan where allegations have previously led mobs to attack people.
The organisers of the annual rally have called for the prime minister to intervene.
In his weekend TV appearance, Khan also blamed divorce rates in Britain on the ‘sex, drugs and rock and roll’ culture that began in the 1970s, when the twice-divorced Khan was gaining a reputation in London as a playboy.
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