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PM Khan’s comments promote rape culture, say lawyers and journalists

Call his remarks on rape "insensitive and dangerous"

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 7, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 week ago
Posted: Apr 7, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 week ago
PM Khan’s comments promote rape culture, say lawyers and journalists

Photo: File

Lawyers, journalists and activists have released a statement condemning Prime Minister Imran Khan’s controversial remarks on rape.

“Through this statement, the prime minister has actively fostered and promoted rape culture and apologia,” it reads. “Such statements have the effect of further traumatising and silencing of sexual violence by placing blame on them.”

On Sunday, PM Khan took calls from the public and talked about corruption and inflation. But his statements in response to a caller asking him what steps have been taken to curb rising cases received widespread backlash.

“There’s a reason why the concept of purdah is there,” the premiere said. Obscenity and decline in purdah are the major reasons why rape cases are rising, he added.  

“Such statements also call into question anti-rape initiatives undertaken by this Government, including the introduction of Anti-Rape Ordinances and the formation of a Special Committee tasked to implement the same,” the statement condemning the remarks said.

The activists highlight that the timing of the premier’s statements make situation for women “more dangerous” in the country after the Aurat Marchers were framed as blasphemers.

“Taken together with the Prime Minister’s refusal to condemn false allegations of blasphemy against women organisers and activists of the Women’s Day March (Aurat March), this statement reflects the apathy of the current set-up towards the plight of women, trans persons and non-binary persons.”

It is rape apologia to link rape, which is a crime of power and control, with temptation and obscenity, according to the statement, which termed PM Khan’s remarks “factually incorrect, insensitive and dangerous”.

They demand an apology from the prime minister and say that rape is never the fault of the victim.

He was accused of excusing rapists when he said not everyone has the willpower to resist temptation, and that temptation can only be avoided by purdah.

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