Sexist writer abuses rights activist over feminist slogan in Pakistan

Marvi Sirmed (Photo: Twitter)
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New Delhi/Islamabad–Just days ahead of International Women’s Day, a controversial drama writer Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar abused noted rights activist Marvi Sirmed on live television show in Pakistan.

Known for his sexist drama ‘Mere Paas Tum Ho’ in Pakistan, Qamar resorted to profane invectives against Sirmed during a TV talk show on feminism ahead of the Women’s Day on March 8.

The TV show panel was discussing the necessity and morality of ‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi’ (my body my choice) slogans used by feminists for the upcoming ‘Aurat march’ (women’s march).

Qamar, who is controversial in Pakistan for his extremely conservative views on women-related issues, began using expletives when Sirmed raised the slogan during the discussion. The video of Qamar abusing Sirmed went viral on social media with hashtags of #MeraJismMeriMarzi (my body my choice) and #khalilurrehmanqamar trending on Twitter in Pakistan.

Outraged by the abuse, several famous politicians, artists and activists in Pakistan condemned Qamar’s misogynistic abuse against Sirmed and asked him to apologize.

“I will not accept any show on @NeoTv_Network until this anchor apologises and this abusive man boycotted. If others (men and women ) do the same when asked for shows this kind of disrespect to women may not get impunity. Women’s rights are human rights. Enough of this nonsense,” Senator Sherry Rehman tweeted.

Gulali Ismail, a human rights activist called it “extremely offensive” and was critical of the TV show anchor Aisha for not intervening and shutting up Qamar. Aisha issued an apology explaining her confusion which prevented her from intervening effectively. She said it was not intentional.

Pakistani actress Mahira Khan described Qamar as “sick to the core”. In a tweet, she questioned the entertainment industry in Pakistan for employing Qamar. She said the industry was as much to blame for “perpetuating his thinking.” (IANS)



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