Former prime minister Imran Khan’s chief-of-staff Shahbaz Gill is being criticised over his tweet targeting Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, which many have termed misogynistic.
In a now deleted tweet, Gill shared a clip from Hina Rabbani Khar’s interview from 2015, which had recently gone viral on social media after her appointment as the minister of state.
A series of clips from an interview given by the minister in 2015, when she was serving as Foreign Minister during Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government, have been doing the rounds on Twitter. The clips show the minister being asked by Al Jazeerah journalist Mehdi Hasan about the PPP government’s stance on drone attacks, which the host implied was contradictory.
In the clip, the former foreign minister makes her anti-drone attack stance clear. But when pushed by the interviewer about statements made by former president Asif Ali Zardari, she says that she cannot confirm the veracity of those statements as she was ‘not in the room’ at the time.
While interview host Mehdi Hasan merely made a remark about the foreign minister being absent while such important discussions were being held, this statement by Hina Rabbani Khar has been coopted by PTI member and Former Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr. Shahbaz Gill and turned into a mocking hashtag being used by other PTI stalwarts.
Following his initial tweet, many users on Twitter have been speaking out against Dr. Shahbaz Gill’s continued ‘misogynistic’ remarks. Some said he was uneasy with qualified women in the government because of his own ‘incompetence’.
People are defending Hina Rabbani Khar, and condemning Shahbaz Gill for resorting to memes and misogyny.
Others still argue that regardless of her political affiliation, targeted campaigns against women are never okay.