Gandapur takes flak over sexist remarks against Maryam

Published November 8, 2020
Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur addresses a gathering in GB on Nov 7. — APP
Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur addresses a gathering in GB on Nov 7. — APP

LAHORE: A day after Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz had been spared for being a woman over her anti-army remarks, federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur on Saturday came under fire for his sexist remarks about her at a public gathering.

Mr Gandapur made the controversial statement about Ms Nawaz at a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) rally in Gilgit-Baltistan, saying: “She is beautiful but she spent millions on her surgeries from the taxpayers’ money”. He further said that if he picked anyone from the crowd and spent just a little from the taxpayers’ money on their surgeries they would look handsome like (Hollywood actors) Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.

His remarks earned him severe criticism from opposition parties and people from different walks of life on social media.

“It appears that a woman (Maryam) has been on the nerves of the selected rulers. A single woman has shaken the entire vote-stealing government. The remarks of Ali Amin Gandapur are a reflection of the dirty mindset of the rotten system and moral bankruptcy of him,” Punjab PML-N president Rana Sanaullah said and added that such remarks also showed that the ruling PTI had nothing to offer to the people of GB.

Punjab PML-N information secretary Azma Bokhari said that Mr Gandapur’s presence in parliament was an “insult to it”. Ministers were using this kind of language following in the footsteps of their leader Imran Khan, she alleged.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman termed the remarks “foolish and insulting”.

“Gandapur’s remarks are insulting. His presence in GB during the polls is a violation of the election’s code of conduct,” she said.

PPP lawmaker from Punjab Hasan Murtaza also condemned Mr Gandapur for his remarks against Maryam Nawaz and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

Known anchor Hamid Mir said in a tweet that earlier Prime Minister Imran Khan had called Maryam Nawaz a ‘nani’ (maternal grandmother) and now his cabinet member made such comments. He said Dr Shireen Mazari should have taken notice of his (Gandapur’s) comments.

Earlier, PM Khan said Maryam Nawaz was also openly accusing the Army of interfering in politics. She was taking advantage of being a woman because women were given respect in Pakistan, he added.

“Nawaz Sharif and his sons cannot dare attack the Pakistan Army in the country and this is why they have fled abroad. Since Maryam Nawaz knows that we will not send her behind bars because she is a woman, she has started spewing venom against the Army,” the premier had said while addressing a rally in Swat.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2020

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