Pakistani politician Kashmala Tariq who is the current Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplaces appeared on Geo news morning show in which she said that the case of M.A.O high school was ‘mishandled’. She said that the main reason behind this incident is the delay in decision making.
Kashmala said: “If you read the [Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace] Act, there is a timeline on how much time is assigned to inquiry, how much time is assigned to making a decision, and how much time is allocated to all these things. This incident [of Afzal’s suicide] was due to carelessness and could have been prevented.”
Death of Afzal who was the English teacher at M.A.O high school caused an uproar on social media for a few days. Afzal committed suicide because one of his students accused him of harassment but his innocence was proved later. The school authorities didn’t give him the character certificate. He requests the school to give him a letter but they delayed their decision which leads to the loss of innocent soul.
Kashmala further said that men could also file their complaint if they are a victim of any harassment. She said by harassment it is not necessary that it is physical harassment. If someone’s workplace environment is not safe, people are misbehaving, and people passing comment to innocent person this all comes into the charges of harassment. A person who faced these issues should file complaint against those people.
She also said that media have to play the role in the awareness of sexual harassment laws. She added that the media should aware people at the right time not at 3 AM when no one is listening.