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Pakistan

June 22, 2021

PTI lawmakers defend PM Imran Khan after remarks on women's dressing

Tue, Jun 22, 2021
(From left) PTI MNA Maleeka Ali Bokhari, Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul and PTI MNA Kanwal Shauzab addressing a press conference in Islamabad on June 22, 2021.

ISLAMABAD: PTI women leaders came to Prime Minister Imran Khan's defence after Pakistani social media's heavy criticism of his remarks about the way women dress and its impact on the temptation of a man.

Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul and PTI MNAs Maleeka Ali Bokhari and Kanwal Shauzab believe the premier's comments were "misinterpreted".

"If a woman is wearing very few clothes it will have an impact, it will have an impact on the men, unless they’re robots. I mean it’s common sense," PM Khan had said when asked if what women wear has any effect on a man's temptation.

He had brushed off accusations against him of rape victim blaming as "nonsense" and said the concept of purdah is to avoid temptation in society.

"We don’t have discos here, we don’t have nightclubs, so it is a completely different society, way of life here, so if you raise temptation in society to the point and all these young guys have nowhere to go, it has consequences in the society," PM Khan had said.

But Gul believes PM Khan is "a symbol of women's empowerment".

She said the PTI government mobilised women for the first time in Pakistan.

"A woman like me became a member of Parliament from a tribal area," she said, adding that there are five women in the cabinet for the first time.

She lashed out at "liberals" for trying to distort the narrative when the premier was trying to "strengthen social fabric in line with religious teachings and culture".

Shauzab said that if you are among those who are "fighting" against the premier's statement in his HBO interview, then you are "disagreeing with the orders of Allah".

She said the Prime Minister explained the commands of Allah regarding women.

"We are proud to live in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan," Shauzab said, adding that our society does not accept obscenity.

Bokhari, too, spoke in support of the premier and said she was proud to be a member of parliament under the leadership of "a man who prioritised the protection of women and children".

She said that the first instructions the premier gave the law ministry were to make laws to put an end to sexual abuse and violence against women and children.

"The Prime Minister has set aside Rs100 million in the budget for implementation of the anti-rape law," Bokhari said.