It’s about time that television programs and producers stopped giving screen time and importance to sexist writer Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar, because it seems like he can’t stop spewing his misogyny everywhere he goes.
We thought the entertainment industry had felt the ‘Mere Pass Tum Ho’ screenwriter had crossed all boundaries when he abused journalist Marvi Sirmad on live television for defending the slogan ‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi’, and then bashed actress Mahira Khan for criticising this horrifying display of violence. It was shocking that despite this, the screenwriter was invited back on public shows and wrote dramas for entertainment channels but like always- the industry knows the best way to capitalise and earn ratings is when women are made into punching bags.
Now once more, we have the misfortune to bear witness to Mr Qamar’s disgusting rants towards women. The writer appeared as a guest on a show by 7 News Digital along with the winner of the Miss Pakistan 2022 competition Sana Hayat, where the pageant winner can be seen talking at length about the difficult realities Pakistani women must endure at workplaces in order to achieve success. Sana spoke about how women have to face all kinds of pressures from their families and society.
When it was Mr Qamar’s turn to respond, he started by rudely saying that Sana might have had some bad experiences. When Sana tried to elaborate, he snapped, “Don’t interrupt me,” launching into a rant about how Sana is wrong when she says Pakistani women have it hard in the workplace. Khalil Ur Rehman said any person who gives their own personal experiences when discussing issues have poor knowledge of the world.
Acknowledging that women are being exploited by the workplace, Qamar said men are also being exploited in some places.
“For example in the private sector if a woman is determined that she will find work based on her merit then she will find work on that basis. But then they use other ways to find work, through which men lose their right to work.”
“If women want equality,” the screen writer further drawled. “Then they should give up on the 33% quota they are offered and make everything on merit.”
It’s shocking that in 2023, Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar is being invited on shows to dismantle and mansplain the very issues that women in Pakistan actively suffer from. Why is it necessary to get his opinion, a man, on the issues that women are dealing with? Even after witnessing him time and time again misbehave with actresses, make light of the growing issues of rape and violence against women in Pakistan, why do our channels constantly need to offer him a platform? On top of everything, it was disappointing to watch a female host partaking in this spectacle by humiliating her female guest this way. For her to dismantle the articulate explanation by Sana Hayat by inviting a man who is known for his misogynist rants just proves how television channels are aware that women’s misery= more money for them.
Khalil Ur Rehman represents every toxic man in our society. His popularity that surged after the meltdown on live television is proof that what our audiences love is to watch a woman in misery. Our channels endorse his mediocre scripts that peddle the narrative that an ambitious woman is a toxic woman, and turn violence inflicted upon women into comedy relief because there’s nothing that fuels money and ratings more than capitalising on the pain and misery of other women- and Khalil Ur Rehman is nothing but a sum of everything that is wrong with Pakistani men.
We could go on and on with the numerous examples of how brazingly unfiltered Mr Rehman continues to be when it comes to his open disregard towards women and their issues- but we’re tired of constantly writing the same think pieces over and over again. We’d honestly just ask entertainment channels to stop relying on Mr Qamar for your ratings, because we can see through your formulae. Relying on toxic narratives and gossip tabloids that turns women into scapegoats is no longer acceptable, and Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar owes Sana Hayat, and every other female public figure he’s publicly misbehaved with- an apology for his actions.