PM Imran Khan has caused outrage on Twitter once again. This time it comes in response to his keynote speech at the 17th session of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Council of Foreign Minister, which was hosted this year by Pakistan. During his speech, Khan said the Taliban had to ensure women’s rights but the world must also stay sensitive to their culture.
Social media users are calling out the Prime Minister for attributing the issue of girls’ education to Afghan/tribal culture.
“Every society’s idea of human rights and women’s rights is different,” he said. Giving an example of Khyber Pakhtunkwa province, which borders with Afghanistan, he added that city culture differs from rural culture. “We give stipends to the parents of the girls so that they send them to school. But in districts bordering Afghanistan, if we are not sensitive to the cultural norms, then they won't send them to school despite receiving double the amount. We have to be sensitive about human rights and women rights.”
This statement by the PM angered many social media users, who in turn called Khan’s speech “foolish and harmful.” Ziaduddin Yousafzai, father of Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, posted a clip of the premiere’s speech on his Twitter profile and said that it’s “extremely disappointing” to see Khan justifying Taliban’s misogyny by culture.
One user said it’s Pakistan’s “hypocrisy” and called for strong condemnation of “seizing of rights of women.”
Many are angry at the PM for equating Taliban brutality of forcing girls out of school as “tribal culture.”
One user called for “celebrated Pashtuns” to speak up and condemn “such lies.”
However, not everyone was enraged. Many tried to explain what the PM “really meant.”