Politicians, civil society berate Imran Khan for 'sexist comments' against Maryam Nawaz

HRCP says Imran Khan owes an apology not just to Maryam Nawaz but to all women

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PTI Chairman Imran Khan (L) and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz. — Instagram/Imrankhan.pti/AFP
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (L) and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz. — Instagram/Imrankhan.pti/AFP

After PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Friday evening issued an objectionable statement against PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz during his Multan address, politicians, journalists, and civil society members have censured Khan for his "sexist and misogynist" comments. 

During his jalsa, Khan, referring to Maryam's Sargodha rally on May 19 in which she continually berated him, said: "Someone had sent me the speech delivered by Maryam Nawaz in Sargodha yesterday."

"In that speech, she uttered my name with such passion that I would like to tell her: Maryam, please be careful, your husband may get upset because you were constantly repeating my name."

Following his comments, condemnations started pouring in from politicians and civil society members on social media. 

PM Shehbaz Sharif

Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who also happens to be Maryam's paternal uncle, expressed strong disapproval of Imran Khan's statement and said that the entire nation, especially women, should strongly condemn the "deplorable language used against the daughter of the nation Maryam Nawaz."

"Your crimes against the country and the nation cannot be hidden under your lowly humour. How could those — who cannot respect the sanctity of Masjid Nabawi (PBUH) — be expected to respect the honour of someone's mothers, sisters, and daughters?" 

He continued: "Imran is the first person in history to fall into this abyss of rudeness as the leader of a party. His party went out to make a nation but spoiled the morals of the people instead. To Allah, we belong and to Him, we shall return."

Asif Zardari

Censuring Khan for his statement against the PML-N vice president, former president Asif Ali Zardari said that he condemned the derogatory language used by the PTI chairman.

"Those who have mothers and sisters in their homes do not use such language against other women," the PPP co-chairman said. "Please, do not stoop so low in the name of politics."

He added that every person's mother, sister, and daughter was worthy of respect and that was the message of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to the nation.

"I wish someone would also write a letter to the chief justice of Pakistan based on personal observation and he would take notice of the matter," he said.


Taking notice of Imran Khan’s ‘vile’ remarks, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) condemned his statement.

“@ImranKhanPTI's vile remarks about @MaryamNSharif at the PTI's Multan rally have plumbed the depths of misogyny,” the HRCP stated on its official Twitter handle.

“It is simply unacceptable that the political narrative should crumble into such glaring intolerance and sexism.”

The HRCP further mentioned that Imran Khan is a national leader and he must “learn to conduct national conversations with his political rivals”.

“He owes an apology not just to Ms Sharif but to all women,” it stated.

Marriyum Aurangzeb

Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, taking to Twitter, also condemned Khan's statement and said that the coalition government was trying to save the mothers and daughters of Pakistan from "this evil."

"These are the same people who want to silence women journalists by calling them sell-outs [when they criticise their parties]," she said.

Sharjeel Memon

Reacting to the incident, PPP leader Sharjeel Memon said: "Imran Niazi’s remarks about Maryam Nawaz are highly condemnable. This shows his training and his dirty mindset."

Farhatullah Babar

Ex-senator Farhatullah Babar stated: "What an embarrassment the former PM is. Touching new lows. Falling freely into the bottomless pit."

Mehr Tarar

"Imran Khan’s comment on Maryam Nawaz is in utterly bad taste, something he should never have said about anyone anywhere. And I condemn it without resorting to any whataboutery," wrote journalist Mehr Tarar.

Cyril Almeida

"They don’t adore IK despite this stuff, they adore IK because of this stuff…" senior journalist Cyril Almeida said. 

Reham Khan

Journalist and former wife of the PTI chairman, Reham Khan, wrote on Twitter: "I am very ashamed that I was ever associated with such a bad man."

She also praised Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari's politeness and condemned the "rudeness of a 70-year-old man."

"He neither respects the woman of his own house nor the women of others' houses."

Adil Shahzeb

Journalist Adil Shahzeb wrote that it was a matter of "shame" for IK to utter such words against a female politician.

"This person does not know the value of mother, sister and daughter. He cannot own his biological daughter but lectures the nation about establishing the state of Madinah in Pakistan."