Pakistan’s biggest self-proclaimed ‘feminist’ is receiving flak for his opinions once again
Khalilur Rehman Qamar (KRQ) seems to have landed himself in hot waters once again. The renowned playwright has irked many – and rightfully so – with his recent comments on feminism and the ongoing protests against rape across Pakistan.
The Meray Paas Tum Ho writer recently appeared at a local channel wherein he shared his two cents on freedom for women in Pakistan. “What sort of freedom do they want?” Qamar asked rhetorically. “They’re out on the roads already, they’re chanting these vicious slogans at Liberty Chowk…I want to question their fathers and brothers. Where are they? Where were they when these women came out on the streets, shouting and screaming? They must have come to the protest with their knowledge. Are they not free to do so? What other kinds of freedom do they yearn for?”
He added, “Do these women want to get inside a room with their boyfriends as their fathers guard the door? Their brothers informing others that their sisters are busy? Is this the kind of freedom these women want?”
Qamar then questioned whether it’s constitutional to ‘abuse’ the country in an attempt to get a point across or to slander men. “Who appointed these 35, 40 women as representatives of the rest of the pious women of Pakistan? This is something that has not been questioned,” he said. “Under the disguise of freedom of speech, can these women abuse the culture, traditions, norms, brothers and fathers of our country? I would want the rest of the women of Pakistan to not fall prey to the agendas of these ‘vulgar’ women.”
As the interview went viral on social media, many, celebrities included, slammed the scriptwriter’s views. Famous designer Maheen Khan tweeted, “Who is this sick, depraved man? Men like him are the real enemies.”
Singer Annie Khalid added, “Wow… he is so angry. He hates women; it’s written all over his face and in every word uttered by his filthy mouth. I pity all the women in his life, including his mother and sister, the women he’s interacted with in the past and will meet in the future.”
Many social media users called out the channel for giving Qamar air time and asking for his opinion on women’s issues. “No space for him in any women’s rights discourse. Those who work on women’s rights are free to disagree with each other but people who have no credentials to comment on such sensitive issues have no place in this debate and their opinions don’t matter to us,” shared one user.
“A big shoutout to our beautiful media ‘fraternity’ for paving the way for people like him; for amplifying his voice, his views through your content and dramas. You guys definitely put the ‘pro’ in protests and ‘mis’ in misogyny. Shabash! Lagay raho,” Kanwal Ahmed of Conversations with Kanwal, added.
“Why is everything about sex for this vile man? Azaadi does not mean sex and boyfriends. Azaadi means the right NOT to be harassed or sexually assaulted. Azaadi means the right to be able to move freely. It also means the right to call your out for being a rape apologist,” penned another.
“If news channels wanted productive and thought-provoking discussions about the Aurat March and feminism, Khalil ur Rehman Qamar would be the last person they’d invite because he is simply not relevant/an expert. Their only priority is getting ratings and that’s honestly just disgusting,” a user said.
“KRQ is a complete embarrassment but these news channels know exactly what his viewpoint is and still proceed to give him space to voice his terrible opinions for clicks. Do better, have some integrity, let this old man live out his days alone in the darkness that are his thoughts,” wrote another.
Qamar has always been called out for his problematic stances on Aurat March and feminism.