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Imran defends his remarks on female journalist’s harassment

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  • 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.”

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Judge Muhammad Ali Warraich postpones the £190 million corruption lawsuit until June 21.

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The £190 million corruption case at Adiala Jail was heard by Judge Muhammad Ali Waraich of the Accountability Court. The hearing was postponed until June 21.

The cross-examination and statement of one witness took place during the case hearing. At the next hearing, four more witnesses will be put through cross-examination.

Up to now, 30 witness statements have been recorded, of which 22 have already undergone cross-examination.

Bushra Bibi, the founder of the PTI, was in court today throughout the proceedings.

The PTI’s legal representatives in the lawsuit included Shoaib Shaheen, Niazullah Niazi, Salman Akram Raja, and Ali Zafar.

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Nationwide protest gatherings will be held by the PTI on June 14.

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Zahir Shah, the minister of food for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has said that Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) will stage protests across the country to demand the release of PTI founder Imran Khan.

On June 14, protests around the country would take place, according to Zahir Shah Toru.

He added that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s chief minister had made plans for protests in every district.

In the protests, fictitious accusations made against PTI founder Imran Khan and its leadership will be denounced.

There would be no breaking of the law or the constitution, according to KP Minister Zahir Shah.

At 5:00 p.m., the Mardan demonstration will take place.

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Shah Mehmood, founder of the PTI, and others found not guilty in Azadi March case

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Information suggests that court magistrate Malik Muhammad Imran exonerated Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Sheikh Rasheed, the chief of AML, in addition to announcing the reserved verdict.

Acquittal of Sadaqat Abbasi and Ali Nawaz Awan from the Azadi March case was also ordered by the court.

It should be mentioned that numerous prominent members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), like as Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former prime minister Imran Khan, and others, were apprehended by the police in separate complaint letters pertaining to the Azadi March.

Following unrest between police and the PTI leader in the provincial capital, 42 charges were filed against PTI senior leaders and workers for agitation.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had previously found former prime minister Imran Khan and PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi not guilty in a case involving ciphers.

Decisions on appeals from the cipher case’s conviction were announced by Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of the IHC.

The party’s vice-chairman and founder, who was convicted in a similar case in January of this year, received 10-year prison sentences apiece.

On the other hand, Qureshi’s arrest in the crimes that occurred on May 9th and Imran’s sentences in the Toshakhana and Iddat cases mean that they are unlikely to be released from prison anytime soon.

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