Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson Imran Khan yet again victim blamed journalist Gharidah Farooqi for being harassed at a rally where she had gone to cover the event.

In an interview with Isaac Chotiner of The New Yorker, Khan was asked if his comment about Farooqi was taken out of context.

The former Prime Minister responded: “No. No. No. It wasn’t out of context. Look, in our society, we were . . . it was just in one particular rally where they were all men, and she was right in the middle of this male crowd. It’s just that . . . I mean, anyone who knows Pakistani society, or most sorts of societies like India or Pakistan—if you put yourself in that position, you are going to be vulnerable.”


“It’s just common sense. Yes, the men are to be blamed if they do anything. But also it works two ways, you should all . . . in our society, normally, people would avoid putting themselves in that position. It’s as simple as that,” added Khan.

“We have brilliant women journalists in this country. They are doing a great job. But they don’t have to put themselves in positions—and let me just say, it was a specific situation I was talking about, because we actually tried to get her out of the situation,” said Khan.

Chotiner probed Imran further, stating that there seems to be a certain universalism in Khan’s thinking about democratic government, but, when he speaks about cultural or social issues, about girls’ education or how women respond to being mistreated by men, there’s not so much universalism.

Khan replied, “I’m appalled. I just feel that sometimes the Western press picks up selective things. How can anyone blame women for rape? Tell me, how can any sensible person ever make such a stupid comment? Look, the rapist is always to be blamed. Always. Simple. Full stop. I was looking at the crime charts, and the crime charts reported to me by the police officers showed that sex crimes were going through the roof in my country. So we got to the bottom of it. Why is this happening?”


“In the case of a woman getting raped, she’s marked for life. But even worse is when children get abused; that stays with them for the rest of their life. The ideas that came forward were, one, that we must bring down the level of temptation in our society, because you have a lot of frustrated people. Now, this is coming from civil society. And secondly, how do we educate children in schools to stop this child abuse?”

Khan, in October last year, passed sexist comments about journalist Gharidah Farooqi, saying:Woh mardon mei ghussay gi toh aisa hi hoga(If she will enter into men’s sphere, then this is what will happen).

During a meeting with the delegation of the National Press Club and the Rawalpindi/Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ), Khan said that “Farooqi goes into the crowd and then complains that she is being harassed”.

He also said that he will ask his party workers to act appropriately.