Islamabad Club in limelight again as alleged harassment probe begins against employee


ISLAMABAD: A probe into allegations of harassment against a powerful male member of the elite Islamabad Club was formally started by a federal ministry on Tuesday.

The allegations were levelled by a female staffer—who worked as the in-charge of the club’s gymnasium. She was summoned for a statement by a three-member committee of the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD).

The complainant has accused a member of the club’s Management Committee of harassing her at her workplace.

Previously, she had made a written complaint in this regard to CADD secretary. The Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) had subsequently agreed to hear the matter under Sections 2(h), 4 and 5 of the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Work Place Act, 2010.

She alleged, in the petition, that the accused used to summon her to his office only to discuss unofficial matters, including her “personal life”.

The staffer alleged that she was fired immediately after she refused to obey “immoral” orders from the alleged harasser.

“First I felt insecure in the office of that person, but now I am worried about the future of my three-year-old daughter. He [the club official] had threatened me with dire consequences,” she told a media outfit in the past.

“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,” she claimed in her application.

On Tuesday, she appeared before the committee and explained that the abuser was not supposed to have interacted with her directly because he was not her immediate supervisor.

In her statement, she said: “[Instead,] he would make me sit in his office for hours while discussing non-official matters.”

After her deposition, while talking to media, she also revealed that her contract had been terminated verbally without giving her a 15-day notice after she filed her complaint.

“I told the committee that I don’t need the job. I want justice for the harassment and mental abuse I faced,” she said.

“The committee members asked me what punishment I would suggest for the accused, and my reply was that other women working in the club should be saved from being harassed,” she added.

The report by the committee will be submitted within a month.

It is crucial to mention here that the Islamabad Club has been in the news since June, when another female staffer Hoorain Baloch committed suicide inside her office in the club. Thus far, no investigations have been made into that matter.