Khawaja Asif, your sexism is showing — again

Khawaja Asif, your sexism is showing — again

There was garbage in the assembly, but it wasn't those women senators.
26 Jul, 2023

Dear Khawaja Asif, we listened to what you said about several PTI women leaders in the National Assembly but unfortunately, we’re not surprised. Your sexism is showing again, not that you ever made any great efforts to hide it.

You’re quite the repeat offender — a certain tractor trolley remark instantly comes to mind — and you’re never repentant. Most of your sexism, it seems, shines through on the floor of the National Assembly where you’re able to speak to your heart’s content with little opposition from your peers.

We noticed that no one has censured you for this — not Sherry Rehman, who was seated right behind you and couldn’t have missed your disparaging and frankly disgusting remarks, not Shazia Marri, not Marriyum Aurangzeb, not your niece and PML-N leader Shaza Fatima Khawaja and certainly not Maryam Nawaz. If only people around you would tell you how disgusting your words are — especially those who otherwise claim to be champions of women’s rights. They can’t stay silent just because the offender is someone close to them or their party.

You don’t need a reminder of what you said, but our readers do. You called PTI senators Sania Nishtar, Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur, Falak Naz Chitrali and Fawzia Arshad leftover garbage. You said they are the remains of the PTI, the “ruins”, the “leftover filth and waste”. “This is the garbage left here, which has to be cleaned,” you said, adding, “Depraved women should not lecture on chastity.”

If you were anyone else, we wouldn’t have to lecture you on why what you said is wrong. But clearly, you don’t see anything wrong and nor do your peers who clapped along while you spewed hate on the floor of the assembly.

What in the world makes you think that speaking like this to anyone is okay? Using this kind of language against anyone — man or woman — is sickening and should not be allowed anywhere, let alone in the assembly. We don’t know if speaking about decorum and respecting the assembly will have any effect on you, given that you don’t respect the members of the assembly either.

At your tender age of 73, you shouldn’t need frequent reminders to mind your manners. And now this filth is spilling over onto your daughter. Social media is awash with pictures and videos of someone who had nothing to do with this, because filth doesn’t stay contained in a nice little box, the way you want it to. That garbage spreads and taints anyone involved, whether it is fair or not, whether they were involved or not.

You’re right that garbage needs to be removed from the assembly, but you seem to have mixed up what the garbage really is.