PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz lashed out at Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday over his recent statement in which the premier said men are "tempted" when women wear less clothes and hence, it leads to a rise in sexual violence in society.
"Imran Khan's statement is a reflection of a criminal mindset. He has revealed his shallow thinking to the nation," said Maryam, hitting out at the premier during a press conference in Lahore.
The PML-N leader said Pakistan needed freedom from a mentality that held the victim of a violent incident to blame.
"What of the little children that are sexually abused; are they subjected to it [sexual violence] because of their dressing?" she asked.
Maryam said the prime minister "should be ashamed over such a statement".
The PML-N leader accused PM Khan of insulting rape victims, adding that his words would add insult to injury for parents of the victims of these tragedies.
"They will be ashamed as you (prime minister) have held them responsible," she said.
When asked about her father's return, Maryam said if she was provided a guarantee that Nawaz Sharif's life would not be in danger, she would call him back to the country this instant.
Taking a jibe at the government, she said the fourth finance minister of the incumbent regime had presented its third federal budget.
She condemned the Lahore bomb blast and paid tribute to the police for sacrificing their lives in the line of duty.
In an interview with Axios's Johnathan Swan, PM Imran Khan had said: "If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on men .... Unless they're robots. I mean, it's common sense."
"Yes, but will it really provoke acts of sexual violence?" asked Swan.
"It depends which society you live in," answered PM Imran Khan. "If in a society, people haven't seen that sort of a thing, it will have an impact on them," he added.
He had brushed off accusations against him of rape victim blaming as "nonsense" and said the concept of purdah is to avoid temptation in society.
"We don’t have discos here, we don’t have nightclubs, so it is a completely different society, way of life here, so if you raise temptation in society to the point and all these young guys have nowhere to go, it has consequences in the society," PM Khan had said.
PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, a day earlier, had said the clothes a woman wears or the way she dresses, has nothing to do with the sexual violence she is subjected to.
The PPP chairman, speaking to media at the Parliament Tuesday, said the prime minister's remarks were "disappointing". Bilawal called on people to stand with victims of rape and sexual abuse.
"Such crimes should not be linked to a single cause ... the clothes of a person have no link with rape or abuse," he said.
Bilawal delved into the prime minister's statement, stressing that the law for those found guilty of sexual abuse and rape should be the same.
"Imran Khan's statements before and after coming into power are different .... He was a coward since day one," said the PPP leader.