ISLAMABAD: Ostensibly in a change of heart, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he does not believe that woman is responsible for the rape crime because of her provocative outfits.
“Anyone who commits rape, solely and solely, that person is responsible. No matter how much a woman is provocative or whatever she wears, the person who commits rape, he is fully responsible. Never is the victim responsible,” he said in an interview with PBS News Hour, an American media outlet.
The prime minister said that his comments were deliberately taken out of context as he was simply talking about Pakistani society, where a sharp rise in sex crimes was witnessed. “And sex crimes do not include just women. More than rape are child abuse, which is going through the roof,” he said.
So, he said, his comments were in that context. He said he also used the word purdah. In Islam, purdah did not mean just clothes and it was not restricted to women only, but that was for men as well, he said adding that it meant to bring the temptation down in a society.
To a query whether he felt any hindrance in taking action against crimes against women because of Islam, Imran Khan said, “Absolutely not.” Islam gave dignity and respect to women, he added.
“Having travelled all over the world, I find that in Pakistan, even in other Muslim countries I have seen women having been treated far more with respect and given more dignity. You have odd cases everywhere in the world, but you look at the situation in Pakistan even now rape cases in here compared to western countries are miniscule,” he maintained.
However, he admitted, his country had some cultural issues and every nation had that.
PM Imran Khan said political reconciliation was the only solution to the Afghan issue as the United States failed to seek a military solution to the conflict. He said Pakistan was partner in peace and cannot become a part of the dispute.
He said Pakistan played a key role as facilitator to bring Taliban and the United States on negotiating table.
“Any kind of unrest and anarchy in Afghanistan will directly affect Pakistan and it will have to face multiple problems,” he said.
The PM said the incumbent government revived the national economy after hectic efforts and now it cannot bear burden of more Afghan refugees.
Replying to a question about elections in Afghanistan, Khan said the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani should have delayed the elections, as it would have provided an opportunity to Taliban to participate in the political process.