‘The less he speaks…’: Imran Khan’s ex-wives slam Pak PM for linking rape to how women dress
- Imran Khan had blamed “fahashi” (vulgarity) for the rise in rape cases in Pakistan, advising women to cover up to prevent the “temptation”.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ex-wives blasted the former cricketer for linking rape and sexual violence to how women dress. During a television interview, Oxford-educated Khan blamed “fahashi” (vulgarity) for the rise in rape cases in the country, advising women to cover up to prevent the “temptation”.
“This entire concept of purdah (covering up or segregating) is to avoid temptation, not everyone has the willpower to avoid it," he had said.
Jemima Goldsmith, Khan’s first wife, quoted Quran to say the onus is on men. “Say to the believing men that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts: Quran 24:31. The onus is on men,” the British filmmaker wrote on Twitter. Goldsmith, who was married to Khan from 1995 to 2004, added, “I’m hoping this is a misquote/mistranslation. The Imran I knew used to say, ‘Put a veil on the man’s eyes not on the woman’.”
Reham Khan, who was married to the Pakistan leader for ten months in 2015, joined Goldsmith and rights activist in criticising Imran Khan for his controversial remark. Reham, a former BBC presenter, quote-tweeted an Associated Press report on the issue, and wrote, “The less he speaks the better it will be for all.”
In his weekend TV appearance, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader had also singled out Bollywood and blamed divorce rates in Britain on the “sex, drugs and rock and roll” culture that began in the 1970s. “World history tells when you increase fahashi (vulgarity) in society, two things happen: sex crimes increase and the family system breaks down,” he said.
Khan’s comments drew ire from Pakistan rights campaigners who accused the prime minister of "baffling ignorance". "Not only does this betray a baffling ignorance of where, why and how rape occurs, but it also lays the blame on rape survivors, who, as the government must know, can range from young children to victims of honour crimes," the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent rights watchdog, said in a statement.