Prime Minister Imran Khan’s former wife Jemima Goldsmith has schooled him on the topic of rape, saying that the “onus is on men”. PM Imran in an interactive session with the public on Sunday had blamed rising rape cases on “vulgarity” when asked what his government is doing to curb the surge in rape cases and sexual violence, especially against children.
Pakistanis had strongly criticised the premier and told him that rape is an act of violence and has nothing to do with the way a person dresses.
PM Khan’s words made it to international publications and now Jemima has criticised him for his remarks.
Sharing a report, Jemima quoted an ayat with which she wrote: “The onus is on men.”
Goldsmith 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’.”
Responding to Jemima’s comments, Focal Person to the Prime Minister on Digital Media Dr Arslan Khalid said that PM Khan “never engaged in victim blaming”.
“DailyMail has misinterpreted his comments about purdah which in Islam is for both male and female,” said Dr Khalid. “Rest he talked about how society must act against trends that harmfully influence young minds and turn them into sexual predators.”
Dr Khalid also shut down other media outlets and said that they are reporting a “total misrepresentation of what he said.”
Later, a spokesperson of the government said that misperceptions are being created about PM Khan’s comment regarding the incidence of rape in the country.
The spokesperson said that while expressing deep concern about it, the Prime Minister spoke about the societal responses and the need to put our efforts together to eliminate the menace of rape completely. Unfortunately, part of his comment, consciously or unconsciously, has been distorted to mean something that he never intended.
The statement further said: “The Prime Minister said that our strict anti-rape laws alone will not be able to stem the rise in sex crimes. The whole society has to fight it together including lowering exposure to temptation.”
“Prime Minister emphasised a holistic solution with the society and the stringent legal remedies, which are already in place, working together to eliminate the scourge. Plucking a line out of the statement would always distort the perspective and would not serve the narrative of the actual comment.”
“PM Imran Khan remains fully committed to utilise all avenues at the government’s disposal to tackle the incidence of rape. He believes that all of us have a role to play in the fight and hoped that we would do so,” concluded the statement.
Meanwhile, Pakistanis have all sorts of reactions to Jemima’s statements with some asking her if she still loves PM Khan and others rallying for her to become Prime Minister.