The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent remarks linking the incidence of rape to ‘obscenity’ and suggesting that ‘purdah’ would contain the problem.
A statement issued by the HRCP said, “This is unacceptable behaviour on the part of a public leader.”
Describing the PM’s statement as defamatory, the statement said “Not only does this betray a baffling ignorance of where, why and how rape occurs, but it also lays the blame on rape survivors, who, as the government must know, can range from young children to victims of honour crimes.”
“We demand an immediate apology and renewed commitment on the government’s part to tackling rape as it should — as an act of violence, of power,” the HRCP said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, while answering the questions of the people directly on the telephone, had said that the spread of ‘obscenity’ has an effect on society.
He said that these cases cannot be fought only legally, these wars have to be fought by the society together.
He had said that when Bollywood started adopting Hollywood, there were situations where Delhi is now being called the rap capital.
The Prime Minister had said that “behind the veil orders in religion is the same philosophy to protect the family system.”
The Prime Minister’s statement was sharply criticized by various personalities on social media.
Social activist Gibran Nasir said in a statement on Twitter that “rape is a result of power imbalance, not temptation. Rapists control their urges when they’ve fear of retribution, accountability & conviction and when they’re made free from such fears due to gendered social structures just like ours they’ll even rape an infant.”
According to official figures, 11 rape cases were reported daily in Pakistan last year, while officials acknowledged that the actual figure was much higher.
Punishments are given in less than 3% of cases, according to the organization War Against Rape.
Figures released by Sahil, a children’s rights organization, in August last year, said 1,489 cases of children were reported and about eight cases of harassment were reported daily in the first half of 2020. The victims included 785 girls and 704 boys.