Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has invited sharp criticism over his remark linking rise in cases of sexual violence in his country with the way women dress. In an interview with ‘Axios on HBO’, Imran Khan said, “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.”
“This is cultural imperialism. Whatever is acceptable in our culture, must be acceptable everywhere else. It’s not,” Imran Khan added triggering a massive outrage on social media.
Netizens used words such as ‘disappointing’ and ‘sickening’ to describe the cricketer-turned-politician’s statement.
“Disappointing and frankly sickening to see PM 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,” Reema Omer, a legal advisor (South Asia) with the International Commission of Jurists, said in her tweet.
However, there were few others who said that Imran Khan’s statement was misconstrued.
“Again selective and out of context tweeting of what he actually said by subtracting the part where he talked about what kind of society we live in and about the sexual frustration in the society,” Arslan Khalid, focal person to the Pakistan PM on digital media, tweeted.
This is not for the first time that Imran Khan has blamed women’s clothing with the rise in sexual violence in Pakistan. In a television interview in April, he had supported the ‘purdah’ system saying it was necessary to avoid temptation. “This entire concept of purdah is to avoid temptation. Not everyone has the willpower to avoid it,” he said.