World News

Outrage as Pakistan’s PM links rise in rape cases to how women dress

The ex-cricketer says “vulgarity” in societies around the world is to blame for the “moral decline which leads to sex attacks”.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a joint news conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (not pictured) at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan November 19, 2020
Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan (file pic)

Pakistan’s prime minister has sparked anger after he appeared to blame how some women dress for a rise in rape cases in his country.

Former cricketer Imran Khan made the remarks during a question and answer session with the public on Sunday.

According to reports, a caller asked what the government is doing about a rise in sexual violence in Pakistan, particularly against children.

People carry signs against a gang rape that occurred along a highway and to condemn violence against women and girls, during a protest in Karachi, PakistanRecent cases of rape in Pakistan have sparked large protests

Mr Khan hit out at what he called “vulgarity” in societies around the world, saying: “World history tells when you increase fahashi (vulgarity) in society, two things happen: sex crimes increase and the family system breaks down.”

He added: “This entire concept of purdah (covering up or segregating) is to avoid temptation, not everyone has the willpower to avoid it.”

Mr Khan said while his government will introduce legislation to protect women from attacks, it’s up to the whole of society to help by preserving modesty.

His comments have caused outrage among a number of groups.