Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing backlash for his misogynistic comments on Maryam Nawaz, vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and the daughter of former premier Nawaz Sharif during a rally in Multan on Friday.
While addressing the rally, Khan said "Maryam Nawaz, you shouldn't be taking my name this much, your husband can become insecure."
“The way you (Maryam Nawaz) passionately take my name in your speech, be careful, it might upset your husband (Muhammad Safdar Awan), Imran Khan said at the rally of PTI supporters.
For many netizens, including journalists and politicians, Imran Khan’s comments came off as derogatory and did not sit well with the former official to stoop so low.
Taking to Twitter, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who also happens to be Nawaz's paternal uncle, expressed strong disapproval of Imran Khan`s statement and said that the entire nation, especially women, should strongly condemn the "deplorable language used against the daughter of the nation Maryam Nawaz."
"Your crimes against the country and the nation cannot be hidden under your lowly humour. How could those -- who cannot respect the sanctity of Masjid Nabawi (PBUH) -- be expected to respect the honour of someone`s mothers, sisters, and daughters" Sharif tweeted.
"Imran is the first person in history to fall into this abyss of rudeness as the leader of a party. His party went out to make a nation but spoiled the morals of the people instead. To Allah, we belong and to Him, we shall return," he added.
Speaking to reporters in London, Nawaz Sharif said Imran Khan “doesn’t know the first thing about respect for mothers and daughters.” He maintained that for someone who frequently quotes the example of the state of Madina, Imran Khan has no idea about the status and respect accorded to women in Islamic societies.
Women’s Action Forum (WAF), a non-partisan women’s rights group, also "strongly condemned the "crass misogynistic statement made by Khan about Maryam.
Reacting to the Imran Khan`s sexist comment, former President Asif Ali Zardari said that he condemned the derogatory language used by the PTI Chairman. "Those who have mothers and sisters in their homes do not use such language against other women," the PPP co-chairman said. "Please, do not stoop so low in the name of politics.
"He further said that every person`s mother, sister, and daughter was worthy of respect and that was the message of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to the nation.
However, Imran also found support in some followers who brought out old clips of PML-N leaders sharing troublesome comments regarding Imran's wife, Bushra Bibi.