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June 22, 2021

No night clubs here: If woman wears few clothes, it will impact men: PM

 
June 22, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan reacted to the rising cases of sexual violence in Pakistan in an interview with Axios's Johnathan Swan. The prime minister spoke over an array of issues during the interview, which was released Monday, ranging from military bases; the Afghan peace process, and Pakistan's response to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the prime minister's remarks on temptation and women's dressing went viral on social media, Geo News reported. Referring to the prime minister's earlier remarks on vulgarity that triggered a backlash on social media, Swan asked: "On increasing vulgarity, you said it will have consequences, and you were accused of rape victim-blaming. How do you respond to that?" In response, the prime minister defended the criticism against himself, saying "it is such nonsense". "I never said veils-- this was never said. I said the concept of purdah is (to) avoid temptation in society. We don't have discos here, we don't have nightclubs," he said.

"So this is a completely different society, a way of life here. So, if you raise temptation in the society to the point, and all these young guys have nowhere to go, it has consequences on the society," he added.

"Do you think what women wear -- that, that's part of any temptation?" asked Swan. "If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on men," responded Imran Khan. "Unless they're robots. I mean, it's common sense."

"Yes, but will it really provoke acts of sexual violence?" asked Swan. "It depends which society you live in," answered Imran Khan. "If in a society, people haven't seen that sort of a thing, it will have an impact on them," he added.

Parliamentary leader of the PPP in the Senate Sherry Rehman took a strong exception on the remarks of the prime minister linking temptation with women’s dress, and said whether it’s our laws or even our religion, it is very clear that respect for women is the responsibility of the beholder.

“No man has the right to blame women or how they dress, for violence, rape and crimes against women. Shocked that our prime minister is doing this,” she tweeted. Sherry Rehman asked does Imran Khan not know that by saying women should dress a certain way, he is giving oppressors and criminals against women a new narrative to justify their behaviour.