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Imran defends his remarks on female journalist’s harassment



  • Statement about female journalist not taken out of context, says Khan.
  • Men are to be blamed if they do anything, he says.
  • We have brilliant women journalists doing great job, says Khan.

KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said that his statement regarding journalist Gharidah Farooqi was not taken out of context and that in a society like Pakistan’s, “if you put yourself in that position, you are going to be vulnerable”.

The former premier was talking in an interview with The New Yorker’s Isaac Chotiner published on Sunday, February 5, titled ‘Imran Khan’s Double Game’.

During the Zoom interview, which covered wide issues from Afghan Taliban and Pakistan’s support of the PTI and its relations with the establishment to Imran Khan’s views on women’s education, the former premier was also asked about his comment regarding Gharidah Farooqi.

While in a response to the question — “Was it taken out of context that you said, about the journalist Gharida Farooqi, who was harassed at a PTI event: what does she expect if she, a journalist, forces her way or goes into male spaces?” — Imran responded with: “No. No. No. It wasn’t out of context”.

The PTI Chairman explained that “it was just in one particular rally where they were all men, and she was right in the middle of this male crowd… anyone who knows Pakistani society, or most sorts of societies like India or Pakistan — if you put yourself in that position, you are going to be vulnerable. It’s just common sense”.

Agreeing that men were to be blamed “if they do anything” he stated: “But also it works two ways… in our society, normally, people would avoid putting themselves in that position. It’s as simple as that”. 

Answering the question regarding how this could be applied to a woman who’s a journalist trying to cover a story, Khan said: “We have brilliant women journalists in this country. They are doing a great job. But they don’t have to put themselves in positions…”

While he expressed a universality about basic political rights, in social spaces women are treated, whether girls are educated, etc, he did not remain as universal. The PTI chairman chose to respond with an explainer on arranged marriage and the boundaries of Western journalism: “Sometimes the problem with Western journalism is that they go into our countries and expect that it should be exactly what it is like in your country.” 

“It’s not like that. Let me just make you understand something. In Pakistan, by far the bulk of marriages are arranged. And arranged marriages are between families. So it’s not a question in this country of going to a nightclub or discos or whatever and girl meets boy. The families put the marriages together. And also the reputation of families matters here. So, when the families are looking to propose, they always look at the reputation of the family and the girl or the boy”, he added.

Regarding his previous statements on how if a woman wears very few clothes, it will ‘have an impact on the man unless they’re robots’, Imran Khan told the interviewer: “How can anyone blame women for rape? …The rapist is always to be blamed… In the case of a woman getting raped, she’s marked for life. But even worse is when children get abused; that stays with them for the rest of their life.”

“The ideas that came forward were, one, that we must bring down the level of temptation in our society because you have a lot of frustrated people”, he remarked.

The former prime minister said, on being asked further on how to bring down the temptation: Temptation is social media. On our mobile phones children now have access to information. But, at the same time, the level of pornographic stuff on a mobile phone, which is available to children of seven and eight years old — never in human history have children been exposed to that.”


Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s JUI-F resignation from the Senate




Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the JUI-F leader’s resignation, which he accepted.

In the National Assembly, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri will be sworn in as a member.

Following their victories in the general elections on February 8 for the Balochistan Assembly, Senators Sarfraz Bugti and Prince Umar Ahmedzai had already announced their resignations from the Senate.

Prior carer Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the resignation of Federal Interior Minister Bugti, which he accepted.

In a similar vein, Senator Prince Umar Ahmedzai of the Balochistan Awami Party resigned from the Senate following his election to the provincial legislature.

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NA session: The interim government addresses President Alvi’s concerns




Details indicate that in response, the federal government informed Dr. Arif Alvi that Article 91 of the 1973 Constitution does not grant the president the “discretion or power” to adjourn the National Assembly session.

The sources quoted the federal administration and said, “Nowhere in Article 91 is it written that if the House is incomplete, the National Assembly session cannot be convened.”

It further said that Article 54 of the constitution allowed the president to adjourn the National Assembly’s “ordinary” session alone. According to the summary, the president was requested to call an extraordinary session of the National Assembly so that the newly elected members may take an oath of office.

Dr. Arif Alvi was asked to reconsider his choice and call a meeting of the National Assembly by the acting federal government on February 29.

The sources quoted the federal government and stated, “It is not written anywhere in the constitution that if specific seats are not allotted, the session cannot be called.”

It further said that the National Assembly must be called within 21 days following the election in accordance with Clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution.

The caretaker administration responded, saying, “Even if the President does not call the National Assembly session by February 29, it would still be held on the same day.”

Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf called a session of the National Assembly on Thursday, February 29th, in order to administer the oath to the newly elected Members of Congress earlier on Monday.

According to specifics, President Arif Alvi declined to call a meeting under clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution, arguing that the lower body is still unfinished because a decision on certain reserved seats has not yet been made. Consequently, the Speaker National Assembly called the meeting.

The National Assembly’s maiden session was called by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. The freshly elected members of the National Assembly would take the oath of office from the Speaker. During the first session, the election schedules for speaker and deputy speaker will also be released.

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Maryam Nawaz honours ASP Shehr Bano For His Extraordinary Courage




Maryam Nawaz, the PML-N’s nominee for chief minister of Punjab, honours young police officer Shehr Bano for displaying extraordinary bravery, insight, and courage.

According to Maryam Nawaz, if the female police officer hadn’t arrived in time, a catastrophe may have happened.

The country is proud of you, she said as she praised Shehr Bano.

According to Maryam Nawaz, Shehr Bano maintained humanity and the law in the face of pressure, numbers, and circumstances.

She stated that it is required of every police officer to contribute to the defence of individuals’ lives and property.

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