Female broadcaster seeks reshaped inquiry committee
Popular broadcaster Maheen Usmani, who had been working at the Dunya TV and tendered her resignation in protest due to uncalled for attitude of a top media manager over her harassment, has stated that “she has no confidence in the impartiality and fairness of the members of a harassment committee formed by the management of the channel.”
In a letter to the Director Human Resources of the Dunya TV (a copy of the message sent to the PFUJ) the female broadcaster proposed that the Committee should comprise senior people from within the company as well as from outside.
She said that “a Committee comprising Asma Jehangir, Kamran Shafi, Dr Fauzia Saeed, a representative of Aasha, a nationwide alliance working against sexual harassment against women at workplaces, an office-bearer of the PFUJ and chairman of the Dunya TV Ch. Arshad as its members would be acceptable to her as they would be unbiased and not open to any pressure”.
She said that “she would appear before the Committee consisting the above -mentioned people.”
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists supported the stand of Maheen Usmani, “and termed her demand genuine and added that as per principles of natural justice fair play, equity it is imperative that this issue should be inquiry through “Independent” Commission as the same relates not to individual but entire journalists community as well as working females of the country.”
The Secretary General of the PFUJ Mr. Shamsul Islam Naz, urged upon the women members of the parliament, human rights organizations, NGO’s and civil society to support the just demand of Maheen Usmani for open Inquiry comprising of independent persons and having repute of integrity.
He further said that this is not issue of any individual prestige but the credibility and
integrality of a one of the leading media channel is also at stake, and propriety demands that the Media Owners should also come forward and ask any of the Independent Organizations of the Court like Supreme Court Bar Association, Human Rights Commission, to hold this said incident, with a clear cut terms of reference of “fixation of reasonability” of the access if committed any one”.
“More than fifty percent population of country comprising of women, how long we can push them walls and create hostile environments for them to remain away for contributing for the prosperity, well being of the nation and country institutions”, PFUJ Secretary General questioned.
He further said that no doubt it was our pride that first women Prime Minister and Speaker of the Parliament were “women”. Yes it is also a history here when senior most women – Judge of Lahore High Court, had to elevated on the basis of his seniority, constitution, judgments of apex court; she was denied that opportunity, during dictator Mushrraf. There was not a single voice from any organization of the lawyers, civil society, NGO’s who had raised voice against such blunt discrimination on the basis of the sex, which is against the Islamic Jurispendence, Constitution, Universal Human Rights declaration, International Women Rights, ILO Conventions”.
Such precedents reflect how much we believe in “equality”, Mr. Naz argued.
He further said that time has come that each and every persons should raise his voice against the male atrocities, leaving a side that “media house would not accommodate their contentions”.
The PFUJ warned it would not allow to harsh up this serious issue and buried under carpet in any circumstances and vowed to continue its campaign until unless the culprits are not bough to justice.