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Sexual harassment: PIA doctor, others absolved

By: ZULQERNAIN TAHIR

LAHORE: A two-member body has absolved a PIA doctor and three others of sexual harassment charges levelled against them by a lady doctor of the airlines.

However, it does not see the PIA as the proper forum for this kind of investigation, asking the lady doctor to file a complaint with the police.

Officials told Dawn on Tuesday that the two-member body — Deputy General Manager (HR) Amina Khwaja and Deputy General Manager (Works) Akhtar Latif — had completed inquiry into the allegations of a woman medical officer of the PIA that the in-charge medical officer along with two paramedics and a driver had “sexually harassed” her. The accused and complainant are posted at the Lahore airport.

According to the doctor, the four men sexually harassed her on May 23. She filed a complaint to the management in June, demanding stern action against them. The PIA management subsequently constituted an inquiry body which completed its probe on Tuesday and submitted it to the management.

Sources told Dawn that the inquiry had absolved the in-charge medical officer and other three of the charges as nothing was proved against them. The inquiry team recorded the statements of the accused, complainants and witnesses at a restaurant in Lahore, where the four had a meeting.

“After a thorough probe nothing has been established against the accused,” the sources said, adding the lady doctor in question had been suggested to file a complaint with the police station concerned to address her grievances as they (police) were the right forum.

The lady doctor is not the direct employee of the PIA. She reportedly has submitted her resignation to the company providing employees to the PIA.

Sources in the PIA further said the doctor did not allege ‘rape’ in the complaint. However, a couple of PIA employees at the Lahore Airport Dawn spoke to on Tuesday said the lady doctor had been under extreme ‘pressure’ and had virtually withdrawn herself from the case. Her resignation was also due to pressures, they said.

Neither she nor the accused doctor responded to Dawn’s telephone calls to comment on the issue.

PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajwar said the two-member inquiry committee had completed its probe into the sexual harassment charges by a lady doctor against four persons and submitted its report to the management. “Nothing has been established against the accused,” he confirmed.

DAWN

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