The Government of Pakistan has released an unedited version of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s interview with HBO, especially a part of the interview in which he voiced his thoughts on the rising sexual violence in the country.
According to the Government of Pakistan, his comments on sexual violence against women and attributing it to the clothes of the women were taken out of context. The snap of the interview circulated on social media became a cause célèbre that triggered an outcry from women and females who criticized PM Imran Khan for being a ‘rapist apologist’.
According to the reports, the 82-minutes long interview was edited to 15 minutes in which the HBO Axios skipped crucial remarks on rising sexual violence and Hindutva. Hence to counter the negative publicity, the Prime Minister Office released an unedited version of the interview.
"ہمیں بحیثیت معاشرہ جنسی جرائم کی حوصلہ شکنی کرنا ہو گی،"
وزیراعظم عمران خان،
غیر ملکی نشریاتی ادارے کو انٹرویو pic.twitter.com/GQRWlKYZ15
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) June 21, 2021
The unedited version gives the viewers an in-depth insight into the vision of PM Imran Khan tackling the rising cases of sexual abuse in Pakistan. He said that he is not only concerned about the sexual abuse against women but also against children.
PM Khan’s concerns
Child abuse is a growing menace in Pakistan, increasing at a faster pace than sexual abuse against women. PM Khan expressed he is disturbed when he hears about sexual violence particularly against children because it leaves the victims traumatized for entire life.
He said that being a premier of Pakistan, it is his responsibility to encourage society to fight against sex crimes together. Since the majority of the families do not report the case out of embarrassment, hence it is the collective responsibility of society to create awareness against the crime.
In response to a question related to Purdah, PM Imran Khan said that it is not just about women covering themselves but more about reducing the temptation in society. He said that with the massive amount of sexual content available on the internet for young boys and men there should be ways to tackle this rising temptation.
Thanks for your input @jonathanvswan. While editing a recording is entirely at a media group’s discretion, here the problem is that the country has been polarised over certain portions of the PM’s interview.
— Hassan Khan (@mhassankhan06) June 21, 2021
Hassan- interviews are edited to fit the space on the show. The PM's office was told beforehand the on-air version would be around 15 minutes. If they want to release their own tape of the entire interview I would encourage them to do that! I stand behind every minute of it.
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) June 21, 2021
The host Jonathan Swan asked if he believes Hollywood and Bollywood content has increased sex crimes. PM Imran Khan nodded adding that there is a difference between the eastern and western societies and how people are brought up hence people are not that much accustomed to it and when they are exposed to the explicit content they can’t handle that.
The journalist asked him why is he against modernity when he himself has lived a modern life in his youth and cricketing days. He said modernity is not synonymous with nudity. PM Imran Khan said that it is not about him but the society, about people, hence people from different sectors should come together and discuss the solution to sex crimes.
Following the release of the full interview, a score of his advocates and followers rallied in his support.
Johnathan Swan also released his statement post-interview, in which he defended the policy of HBO that came under criticism for allegedly making the interview controversial and editing the major part of his interview.