Pakistan has criticised British Home Secretary Suella Braverman's controversial remarks accusing British-Pakistani men of being involved in a wide-range sexual exploitation of women and children, calling them "discriminatory and xenophobic."
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch at a weekly press briefing in the capital Islamabad on Wednesday said Braverman's remarks paint a "highly misleading picture, signalling the intent to target and treat British Pakistanis differently."
The UK home secretary, she observed, had "erroneously branded criminal behaviour of some individuals as a representation of the entire community."
During an interview with Sky News earlier this week about plans to tackle child sexual abuse, the British home secretary claimed that there is a "predominance of British-Pakistani males who hold cultural values totally at odds with British values.”
"They (British-Pakistani men) see women in a demeaned, illegitimate way, and pursue an outdated and frankly heinous approach to the way we behave," Braverman commented after she was informed that a Home Office report in 2020 concluded that most child sexual abuse gangs were made up of white men under the aged of 30.
Barrage of criticism
There was also insufficient evidence to suggest that members of grooming gangs were disproportionately more likely to be Asian or black, according to the report.
Braverman instead referred to reports from Rotherham, which was rocked by a child sexual exploitation scandal in which five British-Pakistani men were convicted of grooming, raping, and exploiting young girls.
"She fails to take note of the systemic racism and ghettoisation of communities and omits to recognise the tremendous cultural, economic and political contributions that British Pakistanis continue to make in British society," the spokesperson said.
The home secretary has already invited a barrage of criticism from political commentators and children's charities, which described her comments as "inflammatory" and tantamount to initiating "race wars."