Students' backlash forces Kinniard College to cancel Khalil-ur-Rehman's talk

Web Desk
January 23, 2020

The backlash came a result of the drama writer's controversial opinions on women

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Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar has been brutally slammed for his misogynistic views on women. Photo: File

LAHORE: Kinnaird College for Women on Thursday cancelled an interactive talk with playwright Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar, who claims to be "the biggest feminist in Pakistan" after students opposed the move to invite the playwright, whose views on women have ignited controversy in recent days.

According to local reports, the backlash came as a result of the drama writer's controversial opinions and derogatory remarks about women from a few days ago as students, including alumni, protested his invitation to the girls college.

The college's Centre for Learning and Cultural Development had scheduled the event for Wednesday, January 22, 2020, at 11AM but dropped it after the criticism. Apart from Qamar, director Agha Jarar was also among the guests invited for the talk.

Further, local news websiteImages quoted an unnamed faculty member as saying the university "has been working on women empowerment for a 100 years, we can't let someone with such views conduct sessions".

Many social media users commended Kinnaird College, saying the move was "behtareen [most excellent]" and "nicely done". "Keep calling him out until he realises it and apologises for his misogyny, and until it starts showing that he has changed," another said.

Mere Paas Tum Ho, penned by Qamar, features Ayeza Khan, Humayun Saeed and Adnan Siddiqui in the lead roles. The plot focuses on a wife who leaves her husband for her affluent boss. Some observers criticised Qamar's offensive remarks towards women in various TV interviews while a dialogue from the drama serial also became controversial, with some some claiming it was offensive towards women.

In fact, a woman had moved Lahore’s civil court a day earlier, filing a plea to halt Mere Paas Tum Ho's last episode — set to be aired in cinemas on January 25, 2020 — stating that it portrayed women in a negative light in society.

Earlier today, Rehmat Ajmal — a young emerging actor known popularly for her role in Qamar's Mere Paas Tum Ho drama series — had shared her thoughts on being part of the contentious serial penned by Qamar.

"I absolutely do not endorse the concepts and viewpoints of Rehman. I watched his interview and got to know about his problematic views on many things WAY after the project was completed," she had said.

Qamar was criticised last year as well for his comments during an interview when the playwright said he did not understand what equality women demanded, challenging them to "abduct a man and gang-rape him so I know what equality is".

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