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Consent, patriarchy & feminists on western payroll: Khalil Ur Rehman dishes all in upcoming interview

Updated 07 Jan, 2022
Episode 17 of 'Lifestyle with Komal' featuring Khalil ur Rehman will air on Aaj Entertainment on Saturday. SOURCE: Screengrab from interview
Episode 17 of 'Lifestyle with Komal' featuring Khalil ur Rehman will air on Aaj Entertainment on Saturday. SOURCE: Screengrab from interview

Khalil ur Rehman Qamar, a Pakistani playwright who rose to fame for writing drama serials like Mere Pass Tum Ho and voicing his controversial views on women rights, gets candid in an upcoming interview with Lifestyle with Komal while talking about consent, marriage, and feminism.

“I believe in the girl’s consent in marriage as much as I have faith in my religion,” said Rehman in a reply to a Rizvi's question on consent in marriage. The playwright added that it’s unfair for another person, “who doesn’t have to live that life,” to decide for the girl without her agreement.

“When a girl is married off willingly, she becomes a productive tool of society and you can get rid of a number of social evils,” he said.

Rehman is arguably one of the most controversial figures in Pakistan’s entertainment industry. His take on women’s rights and feminism never fails to make waves throughout social media.

In an April 2021 interview with anchor Vasay Chaudhry on his show ‘Ghabrana Mana Hai’, Rehman claimed to be one of the biggest supporters of women rights. His statements, however, reflected brazen misogyny.

“A man would never divorce a woman until he catches her red handed, he has no capacity to forgive an unfaithful woman,” said the playwright while speaking about the reasons of increasing divorce rates.

Rehman believes “suspicion is in a woman’s nature.”

“I find it funny when a woman is suspicious of a man, however, when a man suspects his woman, it’s a sad affair,” he said.

In Saturday's episode with Rizvi, Rehman speaks about Pakistan being a patriarchal society but says he hates the word “patriarchy.”

“If it were all about taking a girl’s right to choose her partner, from her father, and giving it back to her, I would be first one standing in the front row, holding a placard chanting against our patriarchal society,” said Rehman.

“If it were about giving the girl her legal rights to property, I would be the first standing with a placard,” he reiterated.

The self-proclaimed “biggest” supporter of women rights believes in equal wages and education opportunities for women. He wants “girls to take flight like the birds,” however, they should remain in their “limits.”

“I’m not the one who defined these limits. They were put in place by our religion, and that social setup has been followed by our society for centuries,” he added.

The social setup Khalil ur Rehman is referring to is one where men and women can never be equals. “The west has destroyed their social fabric, and now a privileged class of women stand up in the name of so-called Aurat March and they slap our social set up and religion in the face. This group of 35, 36 women are absolutely funded."

This is not the first time he has spoken against the women’s movement in Pakistan. In May 2020, Rehman appeared on a talk show where he abused fellow guest, journalist, and human rights defender Marvi Sirmed during a discussion on Aurat March.

“What's in your body? Who the hell are you, go look at your body and face; no one even wants to spit on it,” he said, while Sirmed kept chanting “mera jism, meri marzi” in the background.

In the upcoming interview Khalil ur Rehman accused the women’s movement of being funded by the west. “Listen to me and try to understand. America and Europe have been giving Pakistani women scholarships to study social sciences for the past 21 years. If you look at the theses of these women they’re all anti-Islamic and anti-Pakistan,” he said.

The writer in the end said that he doesn’t believe in gender equality but claimed to be fighting for woman empowerment through his dramas serial.

The episode will air on Saturday, January 8 at 7pm on Aaj Entertainment.

The writer is a member of staff.