PM Khan's rape remarks spark outrage on social media

He took calls from public on Sunday

Prime Minister Imran Khan took calls from the public on Sunday and talked at length about corruption and inflation. But what attracted both fury and resentment was his comments on rising rape cases in Pakistan.

A caller asked him what steps have been taken to curb the problem. In response, he termed obscenity a “Western” and “Indian” concept. He said obscenity is the major reason why sexual crimes are rising; including what he thinks is a decline in purdah.

Many people accused him of excusing rapists when he said not everyone has the willpower to resist temptation, and that temptation can only be avoided by purdah.

The comments sparked outrage on social media. Sindh Aurat March organisers condemned the statements, saying that rape has more to do with power than temptation.

Lawyer Reema Omer called his words “problematic and dangerous” and said linking rape with obscenity is ignorant.

People have also argued that blaming sexual crimes on Western culture is convenient for the prime minister, but does not exempt him from giving basic protection to women without objecting to their choices, of clothing or otherwise.

He also said that importing Turkish series DirilişErtuğrul is among his efforts to curb rape in society by introducing modest culture.

Many people wonder what the prime minister thinks of minors being raped to death, as it hardly concerns purdah in their case. A report by NGO Sahil states that at least eight children were sexually assaulted a day in the first half of 2020. According to Senator Sherry Rehman, 6% of women faced sexual abuse during the pandemic.

In September last year, former Lahore CCPO Umer Sheikh came under fire for blaming the motorway rape survivor for travelling with her children at night.

Watch what the prime minister said here:

Imran Khan


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