Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf ‘s comments
‘Women get themselves raped to go to Canada’
Asian Pacific Post
Outrage across the world over comments attributed to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf has said that women in Pakistan get themselves raped for getting a visa to Canada.
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said that women in Pakistan get themselves raped for getting a visa to Canada and becoming a millionaire.
“You must understand the environment in Pakistan. This has become a moneymaking concern…a lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped,” the Daily Times quoted Musharraf as saying in an interview with The Washington Post.
He further said that Pakistan should not be seen in isolation as far as rape cases are concerned, as it happens even in the US, Canada, France and the UK also.
“Pakistan should not be singled out when the curse is everywhere in the world,” he said adding that reports or figures about rape in the US, Canada, France and Britain show that “it is happening everywhere.”
He allegedly made the comments when talking about Mukhtaran Mai, a Pakistani teacher who was gang raped on orders by her village council. See Asian Pacific Post –Canada offers haven for gang rape victim June 23, 2005. Mai, now an icon for human rights in Pakistan, was gang-raped three years ago on the orders of a village council after her brother, then 12, was judged to have befriended a woman of a powerful clan.
Earlier this year Musharraf blocked Mai from travelling to the United States to attend a women’s rights conference, but later lifted the ban after international criticism including from the U.S. government.
Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan Margaret Huber then offered her residency status after giving her C$60,000 through the Canadian International Development Agency to start a school.
Musharraf later distanced himself from the comments claiming he was misquoted.
Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin condemned the remarks made by Musharraf.
London-based rights group Amnesty International said Musharraf should apologize, and newspapers back home decried their leader’s attitude.
Dawn, Pakistan’s leading English-language daily, rounded on Musharraf in an editorial headlined “Wrong thing to say.”
Pakistani human rights groups say hundreds of women are killed in the Islamic nation each year in the name of family honour, mostly in deeply conservative rural areas, after they are accused of having affairs.
Mai told news reporters that she was pained by Musharraf’s comments in the United States. “Nobody does it intentionally. A large number of women are molested and insulted in the country. How many of them have made money?” she said. “Such thinking about women is not good.”