Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan drew sharp criticism after blaming an increase in sexual violence cases on how women dress in the country. ‘If a woman wears few clothes, it has an effect on the men, unless they are robots. It’s just common sense, isn’t it?’ In an interview with ‘Axios on HBO,’ Imran Khan stated. ‘This is cultural imperialism. Whatever is acceptable in our culture, must be acceptable everywhere else. It’s not,’ he added.
The comments made by Imran Khan in the interview sparked widespread outrage on social media, with opposition leaders and journalists expressing outrage and disgust at the misogynistic ideology. ‘Imran Khan is a r*pe apologist who despises women,’ one of the users, Anaya Khan, tweeted alongside a video of the interview on the microblogging site.
Reema Omer, an International Commission of Jurists legal advisor, expressed disappointment after Khan reiterated his stance on victim-blaming in the cases of sexual violence. During a live television interview in April, Khan blamed ‘obscenity’ for the rise in sexual violence cases in Pakistan and advised women to cover up to avoid temptation. ‘Purdah’s entire concept is to avoid temptation. Not everyone has the fortitude to avoid it’ He stated.
Hundreds of people protested in Islamabad, demanding that he apologize for his views. Protesters chastised Khan for ‘victim-blaming’ and demanded an apology for his comments. Official data reveals that at least eleven rape cases are reported every hour in Pakistan, with the conviction rate being 0.3% only. With such horrific rates, it is no wonder that Imran Khan’s comments have netizens fuming.