UPDATED: June 21, 2021 12:17 IST
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has drawn intense criticism after he reiterated that a rise in sexual assault cases in the country was linked to how women dress.
In an interview with “Axios on HBO”, Imran Khan 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.”
Imran Khan’s remarks led to an outrage on social media, with Opposition leaders and journalists criticising him.
“Disappointing and frankly sickening to see PM Imran Khan repeat his victim-blaming regarding reasons for sexual violence in Pakistan,” tweeted Reema Omer, Legal Advisor, South Asia, International Commission of Jurists.
However, Dr Arslan Khalid, focal person to the PM on digital media, called it “selective and out of context tweeting”.
“Again selective and out of context tweeting of what he actually said by subtracting the part where he talked about what kind of society we live in and about the sexual frustration in the society,” Dr Arslan Khalid tweeted.
Imran Khan’s remarks come months after the cricketer-turned-politician said vulgarity was to blame for the rise in cases of sexual violence in Pakistan.
In an interview on live television, PM Imran Khan said, “This entire concept of purdah is to avoid temptation. Not everyone has the willpower to avoid it.”
The Pakistani leader was responding to a question about the steps taken by his government to prevent rape and sexual assault cases.
Following his comments in April, hundreds of people had signed a statement demanding an apology from Khan for his regressive views.
The conviction rate of 0.3% in rape cases in Pakistan
Official data released by Pakistan reveals that at least 11 cases of rape are reported in the country every 24 hours. As many as 22,000 such cases have been reported to the police over the last six years. However, the conviction rate of rape convicts in Pakistan is an abysmal 0.3 per cent.
In December of last year, Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi approved the Anti-Rape Ordinance 2020 to set up special courts to try cases of sexual abuse of women and children. The legislation mandates legal proceedings in such cases to be completed within four months.