An apology is owed
SINDH chief minister Arbab Rahim is no stranger to controversy. This time he is in the spotlight for saying that a woman’s rule is a “curse” and should be avoided. His comments have not just angered female parliamentarians, but society at large.
They also expose the sham that is the government’s “enlightened moderation” policy. Not surprisingly, Dr Rahim does not believe in a lot of what the PML-Q supposedly stands for, enlightened moderation being just one of the slogans it espouses.
Just a few months ago Dr Rahim said that the summer rains that killed several hundred people in Sindh was the price they paid for their misdeeds.
This kind of thinking is not what one expects from an educated leader who has studied medicine and should know better and is an elected representative of a moderate party.
Dr Rahim also expressed his annoyance with the HRCP in June 2005 when it went on a fact-finding mission to Khetlari, his native village, to look into allegations that the chief minister ran private jails on his lands. Do allegations of misuse of power, narrow-minded thinking and now misogynist views sound like good credentials for a political leader?
If nothing else, Dr Rahim should be reminded that his public uttering is in contradiction to the Constitution which clearly states that a woman can lead the nation.
The least he should do is tender an unconditional apology to the entire nation for his comments that are hardly enlightened. After all, no one is above the law. The PML-Q should know better when appointing its leaders, if it does not want to be branded as a party with right-wing views.
It should reassess its criteria for awarding election tickets. This is a decisive election and voters need to ask what kind of leaders it wants to be represented by.