Islamabad: After facing a barrage of criticism over his remarks on rape last month, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has backtracked on his comments stating that he would “never say such a stupid thing” where a victim is held responsible for the crime committed against them.
“Anyone who commits rape, solely and solely that person is responsible. So let’s be clear about that. No matter how provocative the woman is or whatever she wears, the person who commits rape is fully responsible. Never is the victim responsible,” said Pakistan PM in an interview with PBS News Hour.
Last month, the Pakistan Prime Minister’s comments on sexual violence drew severe backlash after he suggested that avoiding “temptation in society” is the way to prevent sexual violence against women. He made the comments around two months after a similar controversy.
In an interview with US-based media house PBS, Khan explained his comments were taken out of context. “They were simply talking about Pakistan society where we are having a sharp rise in sex crimes,” he said.
“And I have to say because I know all the interviews I have given. Never would I say such a stupid thing where a person who is raped is somehow responsible. It is always the rapist that is responsible,” said Khan.
On the question, if the importance of Islam in the country hinders his stance for women, Pak PM said, “Absolutely not. Islam gives dignity (and) respect to women.”
His comments come amid a recent outcry over growing incidents of sexual violence in Pakistan. Official statistics in Pakistan have revealed that at least 11 rape incidents are reported in the country every day, with over 22,000 cases reported to the police in the last six years.
Pakistan slipped two spots since last year, now ranking among the four worst countries worldwide for gender equality, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2021 by the World Economic Forum.