April 4, 2023
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Shazia Ata Marri termed PPP leader Nabil Gabol’s remarks on women “unacceptable”, adding that the party has issued a show cause notice in this regard in a tweet on Monday, April 3.
This was stated in reply to a tweet by journalist and anchorperson Munizae Jahangir, who strongly condemned Gabol and urged the PPP for action in line with the pro-women ideology of the party’s former leader, the late Benazir Bhutto.
Such remarks are totally unacceptable and a show cause notice has been issued to him in this regard.
— Shazia Atta Marri (@ShaziaAttaMarri) April 3, 2023
Similarly, on Tuesday, April 4, PPP Sindh president Nisar Khuhro issued a notice to Gabol, demanding an explanation within three days’ time and warning him of disciplinary action if he failed to provide a clarification.
وضاحت نہ کرنے کی صورت میں نبیل گبول کے خلاف تنظیمی نظم و ضبط کی کاروائی عمل میں لائی جائے گی۔ ترجمان
نامناسب گفتگو اور غیر پارلیمانی الفاظ کا استعمال پیپلز پارٹی کی پالیسی نہیں ہے۔ ترجمان
— Pakistan Peoples Party – PPP (@PPP_Org) April 3, 2023
In a now-viral clip from The Pakistan Experience Podcast, the PPP leader and former MNA stated that “There is a saying in [the English language]: when rape is imminent, just enjoy it” as an analogy for political opposition and victimization. Upon the host expressing his discomfort with Gabol’s remark, the latter reiterated that one must endure it if they are completely hapless, otherwise they will resist if they have any sense of shame.
In response to the clip, Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari took to Twitter to denounce Gabol’s statement, clarified that his views were his alone and did not represent the PPP.
“Misogyny has no space in our religion nor our party,” she wrote.
His (repulsive) rhetoric belongs to his individual only & is in noway a representation of our party. Incase it wasn’t already abundantly obvious- we absolutely & unequivocally stand for the rights & protection of women. Misogyny has no space in our religion nor our party. https://t.co/aFsDF8DjXA
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) April 3, 2023
Other clips of Nabil Gabol’s insensitive views on women have since emerged, in which he jokes about picking up and making off with women that catch his eye.
In this podcast, he also makes very vulgar remarks about other women politicians. pic.twitter.com/WKnA7fe2QQ
— OSINT Insider (@OSINT_Insider) April 2, 2023
Condemning the remarks, social media users called on the PPP for an actionable response.
We strongly condemn the vile and misogynistic remarks made by former MPA + MNA & current @PPP_Org member, Nabil Gabol, whereby he joked about and trivialized rape in the most disgusting manner. We demand that the PPP urgently suspends his membership permanently. @BBhuttoZardari
— Aurat March – عورت مارچ (@AuratMarchKHI) April 3, 2023
Deeply troubling and unacceptable for politicians like Nabeel Gabol to make light of rape. Such behavior is not only insensitive and offensive but also perpetuates harmful and dangerous attitudes towards sexual violence. @PPP_Org @BBhuttoZardari pic.twitter.com/01Z5GCfSWc
— Nighat Dad (@nighatdad) April 2, 2023
Political parties must hold their representatives accountable & condemn all sexist remarks by their party members. Nabeel Gabol's shocking remarks about rape make light of sexual assault and are highly condemnable. pic.twitter.com/BX1F2we9jk
— AGHS Legal Aid Cell, Asma Jahangir's Law Firm (@Asma_Jahangir) April 3, 2023
Absolutely disgusting. PPP must take immediate action against him https://t.co/SwhP0sHd1B
— Ailia Zehra (@AiliaZehra) April 3, 2023
The PPP’s women leaders and associates have been vocal in denouncing misogynist attitudes prevalent among male politicians, including leaders and members of their own party.
On November 25, 2017, Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari tweeted scathing remarks against Irfanullah Khan Marwat after he had announced that he had joined the PPP. The following day, Marwat denied his prior statement.
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) February 25, 2017
Mr Irfanullah Marwat should not be in #PPP 1 of the core PPP values is respect for women! His repulsive&illegal actions are reprehensible
— Aseefa B Zardari (@AseefaBZ) February 25, 2017
Marwat was accused of orchestrating the gang rape of a close friend of the late Benazir Bhutto on November 27, 1991, however, he was exonerated of all charges by a judicial tribunal a month later.
Awami Muslim League (AML) founder and chair Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad also famously earned the ire of then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto during her first tenure, after passing derogatory remarks on her clothing.