During a television interview over the weekend, the Pakistani prime minister said about the rise in rape cases pointing to the consequences of increasing indecency in society. The incidence of rape has really increased very fast in society. Although the Prime Minister of Pakistan studied at Oxford, he became embroiled in a heated debate over the rise of rape cases in Pakistan. Imran Khan blames vulgarity in dress for the rising number of rape cases in Pakistan.
Imran Khan, who once had a playboy image of his own, also blamed that the rise of ‘sex, drugs, rock and roll’ culture in Britain in the 1970s was responsible for the rise in divorce rates in that country.
He advised women to cover their bodies properly to prevent temptation. His explanation is that the whole concept of the veil is to avoid temptation. Not everyone has the strength to avoid it. His suggestion is like girls should wear polite, decent clothes.
The Pakistani Prime Minister’s remarks have been criticized by the people in Pakistani human rights organizations. They allege that he has shown extreme ignorance. Hundreds of people have spread a statement signed online claiming that Imran’s statement is informatively wrong, insensitive, and dangerous. The statement focused that the only culprit was the rapist and the system that gave him courage, including the culture nurtured by such comments.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that they were shocked by Imran’s statement. They said that not only the extreme ignorance about where, why, how the rape took place but also the victims of rape were found guilty. The government must know that these include girls who have been victims of crimes related to defamation.
There is a deep-seated conservative mentality in Pakistan, where victims of sexual harassment are viewed with suspicion. Although criminal charges have been filed, serious investigations are rare. In most parts of the country, girls have to abide by the code of conduct regarding respect. They are seen as a stigma in the family, victims of violence, and even murdered.
Pakistan ranks among the worst countries in terms of gender equality. Pakistan erupted in protest last year when a policeman scolded a gang-raped woman for driving out of the car alone at night without a male partner. The woman’s car ran out of fuel. She was raped in front of her children on a lonely street.
In another TV show last year, a radical Muslim claimed in front of Imran that women were spreading coronavirus because they used to do wrong and wrong deeds! But Imran listened quietly. He was also severely criticized for this.
This concept has been continuing since ancient times in Pakistan. According to the concept, the ‘purdah’ is to avoid temptation on behalf of the male community. What Imran Khan says means that every person (male) does not have the willpower to avoid the temptation on women. His comments are also pointing to the dresses women are currently using in modern social life; some dresses are provocative for males.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan told that the statement of the Pakistani Prime Minister is not acceptable as a public leader. They demanded an immediate apology and stringent action on behalf of the government to tackle the rape cases. In fact, in most of the rape cases in Pakistan, criminal charges were usually filed, but serious investigations were not done by the government. The government is maintaining looseness in tackling all the rape cases to protect the deep-seated conservative concept nurtured by the radical Muslims.