Mixed reactions to Khalil-Sirmad tiff

By: Faizan Javed      Published: 05:21 PM, 4 Mar, 2020
Mixed reactions to Khalil-Sirmad tiff

The atmosphere on social media has gone awry after the news of popular writer Khalil-ur-Rehman having a tiff with his fellow panellist Marvi Sirmad’ in a live television show on the proposed Aurat March took the internet by storm.

People from different walks of life from politicians to lawyers and from fellow actors to social society activists jumped in to have their say on the issue.

The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) condemned the reported threats being hurled against organisers and participants of the Aurat March to be held on March 8.

In a statement, PBC Vice-Chairman Abid Saqi said the uncalled for threats were contrary to citizens ' fundamental rights and constitute hate speech against women's rights activities across the region.

According to media reports, the Aurat March organizers to mark the International Women's Day on March 8 said they had received threats of death and rape on social media and from some religious groups.

Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari, the sister of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, also extended full support to the Aurat March, slamming the elements that threatened its organizers.

However, Ayesha Ehtesham, the TV show host had already apologised for what happened Tuesday night between Marvi Sirmad and Khalil-ur-Rehman.

She wrote a lengthy note on twitter, saying: “What happened yesterday in my show was an extremely sorry state of affairs. I could not imagine things could turn out to be so rough and abusive.

“I was completely taken aback which might have affected my ability to condemn abusive and sexist remarks there and then. However, nothing on my part was intentional.

“There was quite a lot of screaming, shouting & swearing from both sides (part of program that could not go on air) that left little room for me to reverse things back to normal or come up with a prompt condemnation. I apologise to my viewers.”

Former actress Veena Malik came forward to support the controversial language and remarks used on national television by writer Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar.

She started off by saying, “Jo log shor macha rahay hain ke Khalil Sahab ne aurat ki tazheek kardi, wo zara ghor se Marvi Sirmad ko dekhiye.

“Kya inhe aurat or gainday mein koi faraq nazar nahi aata? Acha sorry. (The people who are making noise about Khalil sahib having demeaned a woman, kindly look at Marvi Sirmad. Can they not see the difference between a rhino and a woman? Okay, sorry,” she said).”

Talking to 24NewsHD.tv, actress Arjumand Rahim, said: “Highly disappointed by Neo TV for inviting KRQ to speak on Women’s March knowing he is obnoxious and downright rude.

“The moderator or the producer didn't even have the presence of mind to control his outburst. Millions of viewers were subjected to foul language on live television.

“Highly irresponsible. The channel should apologize not only to Marvi Sarmad but also to the public for subjecting them to this reprehensible act. Its amply clear KRQ was invited with an agenda in their minds for the sake of ratings.” #Pemra

Speaking on this issue, senior politician Sherry Rehman, said: “I will not accept any show 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.”

Actress Mahira Khan called out Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar and said, “I am shocked at what I have just heard and seen!! Sick to the core.

“This same man who abused a woman on TV is revered and given project after project because of what? We are as much to blame if not more for perpetuating this thinking!”

“Tolerance for each other’s point of view should be exercised. This behaviour is not something I want my daughters or Son to be exposed to as acceptable,” said Publicist Rasikh Ismail Khan.

Sociologist Nida Kirmani said: “#MeraJismMeriMarzi means opposing: rape sexual harassment child marriage physical abuse lack of healthcare domestic violence human trafficking bonded labour/slavery Opposing this statement means perpetuating a culture that produces all of the above.” #khalilurrehmanqamar

Late Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer's son, Shahbaz Taseer wrote on twitter: “On behalf of every man except Amir Liaqat I apologize for #khalilurrehmanqamar And not apologize for his actions but his entire being and pathetic existence.”

A social media user, Maya said: I salute you Khalil-ur- Rehman sahb. You are legend.sher ka Bacha FireWell done sir, #khalilurrehmanqamar #AuratMarch2020


Another user, wrote: “Khalil-ur-Rehman did not say anything wrong. Marvi deserves this for her dirty slogan.”