Imran Khan’s comments about rape and purdah were taken out of context

Raoof Hasan, special assistant to Imran Khan, responds to criticism of the Pakistani prime minister’s remarks on women and sexual assault

Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan.
Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan. Photograph: Saiyna Bashir/Reuters

Wed 30 Jun 2021

Much is being made of comments by Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, on the observance of purdah in Islam and how, in certain cases, it may help in the avoidance of rape crimes (Outrage after Pakistan PM Imran Khan blames rape crisis on women, 25 June).

It is to the credit of Imran Khan’s government that a series of groundbreaking laws have been enacted in quick sequence by parliament for safeguarding human rights, the rights of women, minority communities and parents’ protection. This being unprecedented, it also speaks volumes of the unshakable commitment of the prime minister to the establishment of a just and equitable society where every individual will be treated equally.

His resolve to create a society modelled after Riyasat-e-Madina, the first welfare state in the world, has been and remains a passion with him. The status of women underwent a revolutionary transformation under the laws enacted during those times. It is his ardent wish that Pakistan should also be modelled along the lines of Riyasat-e-Madina, which promulgated and practised the concept of equality among all irrespective of status and stature. So, believing that he would be discriminatory in his approach towards dealing with women would be a grave fallacy.

He compared western society with what we have here in Pakistan. There is a vast difference between these societies, and people in this part of the world are not used to the freedoms that come naturally to the western world. What he said is that while strict and stringent laws should be promulgated to deal with heinous acts like rape, it may also be worthwhile to look at why there was a mention of observing purdah in Islam and whether that can help in the avoidance of rape crimes through these evolutionary times.

This was not said by way of imposing any measures through enactment of laws or regimentation of the observance of purdah in any way or form. It was said to stir a discussion on whether such steps can help ease the situation as society continues to grow to assimilate influences that it has not been accustomed to in the past. There is no compulsion for it in Pakistani laws, but stimulating a discussion can help in adopting measures to combat the monstrous crime of rape.

Unfortunately, the ongoing discussion has plucked his comments out of context and given them a meaning that he never intended.


Raoof Hasan
Special assistant to Imran Khan, prime minister of Pakistan

source Imran Khan’s comments about rape and purdah were taken out of context | Letters | The Guardian

Categories: Asia, Pakistan

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4 replies

  1. Purdah does not stop rape. Otherwise, little girls and boys would not be raped around the world. Rape is about power and control.

    He should have been more smart with his words. A little girl was murdered in his own country by a rapist. She was not even of the age to do purdah. Also, a mother was pulled out of a car and gang raped. A car should offer more protection then a piece of cloth – but not in this case.

    Purdah is about spirituality.
    It does not deter anyone who has evil intentions from harming you.

  2. Parda cannot save women Cruel Law against(Stonning on the married rapist,Heavy beating for unmarried) can.

    • Please read up your Qur’an regarding this topic. There’s no stoning to death anywhere in the Qur’an – look it up. Least of all for rape.

      This is a ‘law’ made up by the blood thirsty mullahs of Pakistan and elsewhere.

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