Imran Khan retracts his 'anti-women' comments
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Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan who is opposed to reserved seats for women in parliament, today retracted his critical remarks after facing the ire of women's organisations and lawmakers.
"Women should not be elected on reserved seats, rather they should be part of parliament after getting elected through (a direct) vote," the cricketer-turned-politician said, while addressing his party's women's wing over the weekend.
Women's organisations and the PML-N described Khan's remarks as "anti-women" and said he was "a man who is against women's rights".
In the past, Khan has been criticised by civil society groups for being soft on the Taliban.
Following the criticism, Khan today said his comments had been distorted as he had never said, "I am against reserved seats for women in the parliament".
He further said: "Instead of women taking the reserved seats based on nomination lists, a special election specifically for women alone should be held for the reserved seats so as to ensure genuine women's representation".
Khan said the intra-party election of the Tehrik-e-Insaf was proof of the fact that reserved seats for women were being contested for in his party.
"I hold that all legislators in an elected house are representatives of the people and the women on reserved seats should be truly representative of their lot," he said.
Yesterday, women parliamentarians from the opposition and treasury benches in the National Assembly took on Khan over his remarks against reserved seats for women and challenged him to compare his educational credentials with any of them.
Speaking on a point of order, PML-N lawmaker Anusha Rehman questioned whether Khan or his party had rendered any sacrifice for democracy or brought any legislation in parliament.
She challenged Khan to compare his educational credentials with her.
She further said a person like Khan, having no representation in parliament, has no right to comment against women MPs who have constitutionally reached parliament after being nominated by their parties.
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