PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto’s been thrown questions about shaadiplenty of times, but has he gotten any better at answering them? Not quite.

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While the question used to fluster him, he now appears to have a rehearsed response…

Watch it here:

When asked about his marriage plans at a recent press conference, the PPP Chairman joked to a chortling audience, “We are having detailed, comprehensive strategic meetings about this. We are planning the exact time, whether we should do it before the elections or after, whether it should be during our campaigning or before.”

He went on to say with a big grin, “[We’re also discussing] if I should marry one woman or four… one from each of Pakistan’s provinces. We are investigating what the electoral impact of that will be. When the report is complete, I’ll present it to you.”

By pandering to the casually sexist sense of humour of the average Pakistani male, Bilawal may have drawn a few laughs from the audience present but wrecked his image as PPP’s young, progressive leader in front of the wider world.

Joking about picking up wives from each province as if they’re objects and sharing the belief that a wife may be used for his political party’s gain exposes a fundamental disrespect for women on his part and his handlers.

As the world sees increased scrutiny on how we navigate gender politics, a person of Bilawal’s education and exposure should know that his comments about women need to be measured and respectful. It calls for a need to Bilawal to introspect about the kind of image he wants to portray — eyes are on him to raise the standard of behaviour expected of politicians, not conform to its current low.

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