Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has sparked fury by blaming ‘temptation’ for sexual violence against women.
It comes just two months after comments he made on sexual violence drew severe backlash.
In April, Khan caused fury when he suggested during a Q&A session that ‘vulgarity’ was to blame for rising sexual violence, singling out Bollywood, Hollywood, divorce, and the ‘sex, drugs and rock and roll’ culture of England in the 70s as examples of moral decline.
Defending his earlier remarks, Mr Khan siad in an interview with Axios HBO that aired on Monday: ‘…I said the concept of ”purdah”. The concept of “purdah” is avoid temptation in society. We don’t have discos here, we don’t have nightclubs.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, pictured above, has sparked fury by blaming ‘temptation’ for sexual violence against women
‘It is a completely different society way of life here. So if you raise temptation in society to the point – all these young guys have nowhere to go – it has a consequences in the society.’
When asked by Australian journalist Jonathan Swan if women’s clothing can provoke sexual violence, Mr Khan said: ‘If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on the men, unless they are robots.
‘And it’s common sense.’
Swan replied: ‘Yes but is it really going to provoke acts of sexual violence?’
Mr Khan replied: ‘It depends what society you live in. If in a society people haven’t seen that sort of thing, it will have an impact on them.
‘If you grow up in a society like you, maybe it won’t on you.’
Referring to Western culture, he said: ‘This is cultural imperialism.
‘Whatever is acceptable in our culture, must be acceptable everywhere else. It’s not.’
His comments were criticized by Pakistan Muslim League (PML) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, who wrote on Twitter: ‘The world got an insight into a mindset of a sick, misogynistic, degenerate & derelict IK.
‘It is not women”s choices that lead to sexual assault rather the choices of men who choose to engage in this dispicable and vile crime.’
Earlier this year, Imran Khan praised the Islamic concept of purdah – or modesty – as an antidote to perceived moral decline, saying it is important to ‘keep temptation in check’.
Twice-divorced Khan, one of the best cricketers of all time, was no stranger to scantily-clad women as he partied in VIP nightclubs during his bachelor life in London in the 1980s and 90s.
The Oxford-educated public schoolboy famously dated fashion guru Susannah Constantine before marrying glamorous socialite Jemima Goldsmith in 1995.
Ms Khan said her ex-husband was ‘clueless’ about sexual violence when they met, his views are ‘nothing new’ and that he is a ‘hypocrite’ for blaming divorce when he is twice-separated
The pair had two sons before their split nine years later, which was in part attributed to the difficulties she faced in Pakistan where she was hounded for her family’s Jewish ancestry.
Khan’s second marriage came to the public’s attention in 2014 after Jemima suddenly changed her name back to Goldsmith explaining that her ex husband planned to remarry.
In January 2015 it was confirmed that he had married Reham Khan, a former BBC weathergirl and presenter, in a small private ceremony in Pakistan.
It was later revealed that some of Imran’s family had refused to attend, believing she was not a suitable bride.
Meanwhile Pakistani media criticised Reham for her westernised style of dress, her outspoken political views, and status as a divrocee.
Eventually the pressure became too much and the pair split in October the same year, with Imran later describing the marriage as ‘the worst decision of my life’.
Speaking to MailOnline in April, Reham branded her former husband a ‘rape apologist’, said he is ‘clueless’ about women’s issues, and is ‘failing miserably’ in his duty to set an example.
Ms Khan – whose short marriage to Imran crumbled under pressure from family in-fighting, media attacks and her own political ambitions – said at the time that the remarks infuriated her but did not come as a surprise.
Imran Khan with fashion guru and journalist Susannah Constantine, who he dated before marrying Jemima Goldsmith in 1995
Ms Khan was a BBC presenter before she married Imran, a year-long union that crumbled under pressure from his family, conservatives in Pakistan, and her outspoken views
Recalling her first meeting with Khan, who was then in political opposition, she said the two had discussed women’s issues as something she was passionate about
Ms Khan said she mentioned the notorious New Delhi bus rape which happened in neighbouring India not long before, but Imran had no idea about it.
‘He was completely clueless,’ she said. ‘I looked from him to his chief of staff, I felt awkward that I would be explaining to him.
‘I explained to him, I gave a little bit of detail, and he turns around and says: ‘This is all because of Bollywood you know.’
‘I was shocked, thought he was just clueless and ill-informed.’
She said he made similar comments during their marriage and has given speeches since espousing the same ideas, seemingly without any sense of irony given his past.
‘The hypocrisy of it is unforgivable,’ she added. ‘What I found most upsetting is that he’s equating divorce with rape and with not covering up.
‘For him to say that divorce is a problem in the West… he is twice divorced himself, the mother of his children is a westernised English lady.
‘The woman he is married to now went through divorce in order to get married to him. It’s just disrespectful to the women in his life.’
Speaking about the damage Imran’s comments could cause in Pakistan, Ms Khan said he has a ‘responsibility’ to set a better example.
‘His hairstyle is copied, the way he speaks is copied, everything he says…
‘It’s the responsibility to men to be a role model, and to tell young men, particularly in India and Pakistan, that this is not acceptable.
‘He has a huge responsibility to end these attitudes.He had this responsibility before he was prime minister, and even more so now he is prime minister.
‘He is really failing miserably at that.’