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National Assembly committee forms body to probe ‘sexual harassment’ of PEC employee

By: Tanveer Ahmed

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Human Rights on Thursday formed a sub-committee to probe the alleged sexual harassment of a former female employee of Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) by a retired lieutenant colonel.

The NA committee, which met under MNA Riaz Fatyana, took up the case on an application by Sadia Sibtain who alleged that Lt Col (r) Daud Pervez Malik of PEC terminated her job when she did not fulfil his “wish”.

The committee recorded statements of both the victim and accused separately and later decided to probe the matter through its sub-committee, headed by MNA Kashmala Tariq, alongside the women’s ombudsman who has been also investigating the matter.

Sadia Sibtain broke down into tears while narrating the incident. She told the committee that when she did not submit herself to personal whims of Daud Pervez, she had to pay the price in form of losing the job.

She alleged that gestures and conduct of Daud Pervez were so embarrassing for her that she could not tolerate all this. He had even started asking me private questions, she alleged.

Daud Pervez said that allegations against him are “baseless” and “untrue”, adding that Sadia Sibtain had been fired because her performance was not up to the mark during the prohibition period of her service as receptionist.

Committee members also objected to the inclusion of Khadim Hussain Bhatti in the inquiry committee whom Sadia Sibtain accused of having close relations with Daud Pervez. The committee also took up the killing of Shias in Babusar Pass a few months ago. The committee was requested to constitute a seven-member joint task force to probe matter.

MNA Riaz Fatyana said the seven-member joint task force should be consisted of officials from the army, Hazara Police, Gilgit-Baltistan Police, Frontier Constabulary, ISI, IB and SPARCO with interior additional secretary being its focal person. The committee should submit its findings in three months, he added.

The committee, which summoned the Hazara commissioner, Hazara DIG and Mansehra SSP, discussed the issue at length.

“This [killings] is the same Shia-Sunni conflict roots of which can be traced back to Ziaul Haq era,” Hazara Commissioner Khalid Khan Umerzai told the committee. Umerzai said that assailants have been identified but expressed his inability to apprehend them, saying that they are living in the jurisdiction of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The committee said that all those who have been identified as responsible for the gruesome act should be arrested immediately. The committee also pointed out lack of coordination between GB, Hazara Police and FC which, it added, has resulted in failure of arrest of the assailants.

Later, the committee tasked the KP governor’s inspection team with probing irregularities in distribution of compensation amount among victims of of sectarian violence in Kurram Agency. The issue was raised by MNA Munir Khan Orakzai who stated that Rs 1.70 billion had been allocated by the prime minister for victims of sectarian violence in the agency.

Daily Times