New Delhi: A prominent Pakistani cleric, Maulana Jamil, has blamed women for the coronavirus pandemic as he has said that the pandemic was God’s wrath in view of the increasing obscenity and nudity. Maulana Jamil has a huge following in Pakistan. Also Read - 'Absolutely Not': Pakistan Rejects All Possibility of Allowing Military Bases to US

He made these comments on national television during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s telethon on April 23 to raise funds for the pandemic situation. Also Read - Bizarre! Denied Free Burgers, Pakistani Cops Arrest Entire Staff of a Fast Food Joint

“Obscenity and nudity are the reasons behind God’s wrath in the form of coronavirus,” he said. “Who is making my nation’s daughters dance. Their dresses are getting shortened. Allah sends his wrath when obscenity is common in the society,” he said. Also Read - Donald Trump Seen Singing & Selling Ice-Cream in Pakistan; Oh Wait, That's His Doppelganger | Watch

The remarks have been called “callous and demeaning” to women who make up half of the Muslim majority country. Barrister Maleeka Bokhari, parliamentary secretary of law and justice, tweeted: The spread of a pandemic must never and under no circumstances be correlated or linked to a woman’s piety or morality.

However, there have been claims on social media that his comments have been misinterpreted.

It is dangerous to make this correlation as violent crimes against women/girls continue to take place with impunity. Federal Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari said: We will not accept the targeting of women on the pretext of such ludicrous accusations. We in Pakistan have fought hard for claiming our rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said: We are appalled at Maulana Jamil’s statement which inexplicably correlated women’s ‘modesty’ to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such blatant objectification is unacceptable and, when aired on public television, only compounds the misogyny entrenched in society.

In Pakistan, nearly 12,000 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus while the death toll has reached 253.

(With PTI Inputs)