Pakistan Prime minister Imran Khan drew flak from feminists and modernists after he once again attributed the rise in cases of sexual violence to how women dress in the country. “If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on the men, unless they are robots. It’s just common sense,” Imran Khan said in an interview with ‘Axios on HBO’. “This is cultural imperialism. Whatever is acceptable in our culture, must be acceptable everywhere else. It’s not,” he said.
Imran Khan’s comments in the interview have caused a massive outrage on social media, with opposition leaders and journalists expressing anger and disgust against the misogynistic ideology. “Imran Khan is r*pe apologist and hates women,” Anaya Khan, one of the users, tweeted with the video of the interview on the microblogging site.
Reema Omer, a legal advisor with the International Commission of Jurists, expressed disappointment after Khan reiterated his stance in victim-blaming in cases of sexual violence.
“Disappointing and frankly sickening to see Imran Khan repeat his victim blaming regarding reasons for sexual violence in Pakistan Men are not “robots”, he says. If they see women in skimpy clothes, they will get “tempted” and some will resort to rape,” Omer said.
In April, Khan blamed “obscenity” for the rise in sexual violence cases in Pakistan during a live television interview and advised women to cover up to prevent temptation. “This entire concept of purdah is to avoid temptation. Not everyone has the willpower to avoid it,” he said.
Hundreds of people mobilised demanding an apology from him for his views and held a protest in Islamabad. The protestors criticised Khan for what they called “victim-blaming” and demanded an apology for the comment.
As many as 11 rape incidents are reported in Pakistan every day in November 2020, with over 22,000 cases reported in the last six years. However, the conviction rate of these crimes is only 0.03 per cent, as only 77 of the accused have been convicted till then, ANI reported citing Pakistan’s official data.