Social media was enraged yesterday at the comments made by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senator Afnan Ullah Khan who remarked that Mahira Khan had mental health problems and Anwar Maqsood was a drunkard, in a tweet which celebrities and feminist activists slammed as sexist.

What had prompted this reaction? It was a conversation at a session titled ‘An Evening With Mahira Khan’ held at the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi. In a clip that went viral, Mahira Khan was seen commenting about two females fighting and poisoning each other. To which Maqsood responded by saying that these two women were PML-N leaders Marriyum Aurangzeb and Maryam Nawaz.

“I am restricted from talking about politics, I can’t say anything about anyone. Hopefully the situation will get better soon. What you said about poisoning, abusing each other so I gave an example, it is also happening in real life. Also both are actors, not character actors.”


Can we condemn the disparaging comment made by the PML-N senator, whose party is currently under the leadership of a woman, and is also the one ruling the country? Absolutely, because how a politician comments about their critics reveals how thin-skinned and shallow-minded they are, especially when the critic is a woman.

But to completely sideline the fact that Khan, who has been outspoken about gender inequality and the need to improve the way media represents women on screens, especially sitting next to a renowned leftist screen writer, could resort to making sexist jokes about female politicians whose views she doesn’t agree with? Twitter users could not over look this fact, and criticised Khan’s sexist behavior for directly targeting female politicians of the opposite party as a way to score points.

Feminist activist Leena Ghani mentioned that it was male politicians who are consistently over-emotional, and behave in a horrible manner, but it’s astounding why Khan chose to overlook them and target Aurangzeb and Nawaz


The Twitter page of Aurat March condemned Khan’s and Maqsood’s comments as ‘cringe’

Twitter users like journalist Gharidah Farooqi criticised these comments as ‘shameful’:

Zebunnisa Burki criticised both Khan and Maqsood for making such disgusting comments

Another user wrote that it wasn’t proper for a woman to mock another woman politician in this manner