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‘Wearing Few Clothes Effect Men’: Pak PM Blames Rape Victims Again

Imran Khan had made similar remarks in April, when he had said that sexual violence was a result of ‘vulgarity’.

Updated
Gender
2 min read
File photo of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
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In an interview with Axios’ journalist Jonathan Swan, which aired on HBO 20 June, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan once again blamed victims of rape, saying, “If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on the man, unless they are robots. It’s common sense."

The PM was answering a question regarding the rising sexual violence in Pakistan.

Khan had made similar remarks in April 2021, when he said that sexual violence was a result of the western concept of ‘vulgarity'.

A caller had questioned the PM on the government's plan of action in view of the rising incidents sexual violence and rape, especially against children.

Responding to it, Khan said, it was important for societies to protect themselves against fahashi (vulgarity) and encouraged the Islamic concept of purdah as a way of removing “temptation” from society.

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Further, the Prime Minister said that some people in society "cannot keep their willpower in check."

"We don't have discos here, we don't have nightclubs. It is a completely different way of life here. So, if you raise temptation in society to a point – all these young guys have nowhere to go – it has a consequence in the society," the PM said during the interview.

Backlash After Comment

Several women have taken to Twitter to register their discontent over the Prime Minister's comments.

"The world got an insight into a mindset of a sick, misogynistic, degenerate & derelict IK. It’s not women's choices that lead to sexual assault rather the choices of men who choose to engage in this dispicable (sic) and vile CRIME," Pakistan Muslim League (PML) Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a tweet.

Similarly, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, daughter of the late Benazir Bhutto, who was the first woman to lead a democratic government in the Muslim majority country, registered her dissent against the PM's statement.

"For a country that elected the worlds first Muslim Prime Minister, who promulgated the initiatives for women empowerment and fair representation – It is even more tragic to see how much more misogynistic & sexist a society Pakistan has become today," she tweeted.

Khan had previously made similar derogatory remarks in April, which had drawn criticism from women journalists. His former wife also said that she hoped his rape remark is a "misquote or mistranslation" and added that the "onus is on men."

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