Imran Khan's PTI is expected to be a major contender in the national election, scheduled for July 25.
- Imran Khan said he disagreed with the "Western concept of feminism"
- He said that his mother was a huge influence when he was growing up
- He made this statement during an interview with a Pakistani news channel
Imran Khan, cricket-turned-politician and founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (PTI), plans to turn the country into a "Naya
Pakistan". But he raked up a controversy recently when during an interview he said that "Western feminism has degraded the role of mothers".
Mr Khan told the interviewer that his mother played a deeply influential role in his upbringing. "Children learn from their mothers. Mother tongue comes from mother... I disagree with the feminism movement that has degraded the role of a mother," he said in an interview with Hum News
His comment started a debate on social media and amid a barrage of criticism, he did find some support. Mr Khan, who aspires to be Pakistan's next Prime Minister, was called irresponsible, misleading and asked if he knew what "feminism" meant.
He was schooled by Twitter user Ali Abbas who wrote, "The movement of feminism seeks to establish equal opportunities for women and end partiarchy, and advocates women rights. I'd now seriously doubt moral values of the one who would support/vote for him or any of the candidates that he nominates."
Another voice on Twitter advised, "Rather than degrading women worldwide for wanting equality. Why don't you ask the incredible woman who has raised your children single handedly and also supports Tyrian Khan what motherhood and feminism truly is."
Through Muhammad Ali Jinnah's words, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari tried to explain that women have to side by side with you for the country to prosper.
His former wife Reham Khan who is battling crticism over leaked extracts of her upcoming tell-all book said:
Some, however, argued that Mr Khan never said that women shouldn't get equal rights, and how "feminism does look down upon motherhood".
Lahore-based writer Mehr Tarar said, "Just because he has old fashioned views about certain concepts and movements, that in no way, in my opinion, makes him misyognostic (the word that's liberally and incorrectly used for everything these days) or anti-women rights."
The PTI is expected to be a major contender in the national election, scheduled for July 25. Mr Khan has promised to clean up government in his first 100 days in office, 10 million jobs within five years and "world-class" schools and hospitals.