Pak PM Khan's ex-wife Jemima criticises him for remarks blaming women's dress for rise in rape cases

IANS Photo
IANS Photo

Islamabad, April 8 (PTI): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith has joined rights groups to criticise him after he blamed women for their "inappropriate" dress for a rise in sexual harassment and rape cases in the country.

In her tongue in cheek comments on Twitter she wrote: 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'."

Jemima, 47, also quoted from the Quran that it was incumbent on men to guard their eyes: Say to the believing men that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts" and went on to add that the onus is on men.

She also shared a story by a British newspaper that Khan blames women how their dress results in increase in rape cases.

Her comments came after the 68-year-old former cricket star during a telephonic calls session with the masses earlier this week talked about connection between fahashi' (vulgarity) and sexual abuse in response to a caller asking what his government had planned to do in the light of rising incidents of sexual violence.

He said that the concept of pardah or covering up or modesty, in Islam, is to "keep temptation in check", adding there are many such people in society who "cannot keep their willpower in check" and that "it had to manifest itself in some way".

Jemima and Khan married in 1995 and divorced in 2004. They have two sons and both of them live with their mother in London.

Despite divorce, Khan and Jemima have remained in touch and she also sometimes comments on Pakistan affairs, especially related to Khan.

Pakistani rights groups also criticised Prime Minister Khan for their comments.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan called Khan's comments unacceptable and appalling for suggesting the veil can contain sexual assault.

"Not only does this display a baffling ignorance of where, why and how rape occurs, but it also lays the blame on rape survivors," said the Human Rights Commission in a statement.