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Body formed to probe Islamabad Club harassment case

Body formed to probe Islamabad Club harassment case

ISLAMABAD: The Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) ministry has constituted an inquiry committee to probe a harassment complaint, lodged at the elite Islamabad Club.

The three-member committee, headed by CADD Joint Secretary (Admin) Dr Mohammad Tariq Moj, will probe the matter on the basis of the allegations contained in the application, in accordance with the Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010, and has been tasked to submit a report to the CADD secretary within 30 days.

The application filed by a woman who works at the club – written on Islamabad Club stationery and available with Dawn – alleged that a senior club official would call her to his office unnecessarily to discuss “petty matters” that could easily have been addressed over the phone.

In the application, the woman states that the officer would tell her about his past, as well as asking her probing and personal questions, which she avoided.

“A number of times, [the official] showed his pictures near Niagara Falls and told me that he was a good husband and had very good stamina. He said a number of things which cannot be shared in the written application. Sometimes I [was made] to sit for one and half hours to hear his stories,” the woman claimed in her application.

She claimed she had been under a lot of stress and was facing psychological pressure, adding that because of his behavior, she did not feel safe in his office.

The complainant, who said she was in her 30s, told Dawn said that the officer was in his 60s, but tried to act like a youngster.

“I am a married woman and the mother of a child; and I decided to inform the top management of the club after I was left with no choice. I have submitted a written application to General Manager Shehryar Mirza. Moreover, CADD has also taken notice of the issue,” she said.

According to the ministry’s notification, available with Dawn, the inquiry committee also includes CADD deputy secretary (Admin) and CADD Deputy Director Shaista Azhar.

But in a statement issued on Sunday, the Islamabad Club maintained that it took “all complaints from its members and employees very seriously and processes them strictly in accordance with law and the club rules.”

The statement pointed out that a five-member committee hears and investigates such matters, and recommends further action to be taken after hearing all concerned.

The statement claims that the contract of the employee who filed a complaint with CADD had expired on Oct 21 and was not renewed owing to “unsatisfactory performance”, adding that she was afforded an opportunity of personal hearing by the full committee before her employment was ended.

The club’s statement asserted that the woman in question did not file a complaint with the club management until after her contract had expired.

Dawn

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