A prominent Pakistani cleric has passed an inflammatory remark against women in the presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan on live television, claiming that COVID-19 has been unleashed on humanity because of the 'wrongdoing of women.' According to news agency ANI, the incident took place during the Ehsaas Telethon fundraising event on Thursday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was present when Maulana Tariq Jameel made these remarks. Khan did not stop him or question him for making such statements. Jameel also condemned media for disseminating lies but later apologised for that remarks. No such apology was made for his offensive remarks on women.
Human Right Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has chided the maulana for "inexplicably" correlating women's 'modesty' to the COVID-19 pandemic. "HRCP is appalled at Maulana Tariq Jamil's recent statement inexplicably correlating women's 'modesty' to the Covid19 pandemic. Such blatant objectification is unacceptable and, when aired on public television, only compounds the misogyny entrenched in society," the body tweeted.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's renowned newspaper Dawn, in its editorial titled 'Blaming Women' wrote that the statements like this are troubling, adding that they are also aired, unchallenged, from a very high-profile platform. Dawn said that it is a "shame" that the maulana was not corrected when he made these offensive comments.
The reality is that women in Pakistan, and elsewhere, face systemic discrimination and violence. During this pandemic, domestic abuse cases have soared as women are forced to stay home for extended periods with their tormentors, noted Dawn.
Pakistan's Coronavirus cases jumped to 13,304 on Sunday, as a top medical body warned that mosques are becoming a major source of transmission for the novel coronavirus in the country and urged people to pray at home during Ramzan.
According to the Ministry of National Health Services, at least 18 people have died in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll in the country to 272. A total of 1,508 new cases were reported in one day, taking the total number of infections to 13,304, reports said. The number of those recovered also increased to 2,936, it said.
(With ANI inputs)