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‘Women are given far more respect in Islamic countries’: Claims Pakistan PM Imran Khan, makes U-turn after blaming women’s clothes for rapes

"No matter how provocative the woman is or whatever she wears, the person who commits the rape is fully responsible, never is the victim responsible," Imran Khan saying making a U-turn on the issue

A month after holding women’s clothes responsible for rising instances of sexual violence in the country, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan made a stunning volte-face, saying that he would “never say such a stupid thing” where a victim is held responsible for the crime committed against them. The Pakistan Prime Minister also claimed that women are given respect and dignity in Islam.

Khan was speaking during an interview with Judy Woodruff for the American television news programme PBS Newshour when he claimed that his comments on the menace of rapes in Pakistan were taken out of context. In a departure from his earlier stance, Khan said anyone who commits rape is solely responsible for the crime.

“Anyone who commits rape, solely and solely that person is responsible. So let’s be clear about that. No matter how provocative the woman is or whatever she wears, the person who commits the rape is fully responsible, never is the victim responsible,” Khan said. He claimed that his comments were deliberately taken out of context.

However, Khan did try to cover up for his remarks in the interview that he gave last month where he held women’s clothes responsible for the sexual crimes committed against them. In a bid to defend himself, Khan told Judy Woodruff that he used the word ‘Pardah’ during his interview last month, adding that ‘Pardah’ brings the temptation down. But, in quite a bizarre explanation, Khan said that ‘Pardah’ is not restricted to women but it is for men as well.

When asked if the importance of Islam in the country hinders his stance on women, the Pakistan PM said, “Absolutely not.” He then went on to claim that Islam gives dignity and respect to women. Imran Khan claimed that women are treated with far more respect and dignity in Pakistan and other Muslim countries as compared to other countries. He also claimed that the cases of rape in Islamic countries are minuscule compared to western countries.

Khan’s recent remarks were in sharp contrast to what he asserted during his interview last month. He had said that in Pakistan’s conservative society, women who do not cover themselves risk consequences. Though he claims that his comments were taken out of context, there have been umpteen incidents in the past when Pakistan PM Khan had reiterated his controversial views on sexual crimes in the country.

Imran Khan had said that women’s clothes responsible for sexual violence

In an interview with ‘Axios on HBO’ last month, the Pakistan PM had 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.” He further added, “This is cultural imperialism. Whatever is acceptable in our culture, must be accepted everywhere else. It’s not.”

Khan was defending his controversial remarks that he said in April 2021.”…I said the concept of ‘purdah’. Avoid temptation in society. We don’t have discos here, we don’t have nightclubs. It is a completely different society way of life here. So if you raise temptation in society to a point — all these young guys have nowhere to go — it has a consequence in the society,” Khan said.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s comments on sexual violence during the HBO interview came two months after he had made similar comments, alleging that sexual violence was a product of ‘obscenity,’ which he described as a Western import. During the television interview, Khan advised women to cover up to prevent temptation. “This entire concept of purdah is to avoid temptation. Not everyone has the willpower to avoid it,” he said.

In April 2021, during a question and answer session with the public, Khan chalked up the rise in sexual violence in Pakistan, particularly against children, to “fahashi” (vulgarity).

He concluded by reiterating that incidences of rape and sexual violence are “spreading like cancer” in society. Official statistics in Pakistan have revealed that at least 11 rape incidents are reported in the country every day, with over 22,000 cases reported to the police in the last six years.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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