Alleged harassment of producer: PBC’s Peshawar head sent on leave
PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation has sent station director of its Peshawar centre Ziaullah Zia on forced leave on the orders of the federal ombudswoman over the alleged harassment of a female producer, Dawn has learnt.
A PBC source said Mr Ziaullah was sent on leave four days ago after federal ombudswoman Mussarat Hilali ordered the corporation’s bosses to do so in a bid to stop him from influencing witnesses.
He said Fayyaz Baluch had been made the acting station manger until the inquiry into the alleged harassment was completed.
When contacted, the spokesman for PBC, Mubashir Majoka, confirmed that Mr Ziaullah had gone on leave in line with the orders of the ombudswoman, but hastened to claim that the alleged harassment victim hadnÂ’t named him in the complaint.
Under the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace (PAHWW), 2010, a female producer recently filed a complaint with the federal ombudswoman, which fixed hearing into it for November 2.
This is the first complaint of harassment at workplace from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa filed with the ombudswoman.
It is learnt that the woman had leveled several allegations against a fellow producer in the complaint besides naming the station director among respondents. She also alleged that the said producer with the connivance of some others was involved in harassing her by using different tactics.
A PBC official in the know said at first, the ombudswoman gave verbal orders to the station director to go on leave seeing the witnesses in the case under his influence, but later when her orders were ignored, the ombudswoman issued a directive to the PBC head office for sending him on forced leave before the November 2 hearing.
He said under the law, the ombudswoman had to make it sure that witnesses appear and testify in complaints without interference or influence by employers or administrations. “The ombudswoman noticed that witnesses were acting under the influence of station director Ziaullah Zia,” he said.
Appointed the first ombudswoman under PAHWW in January this year, Ms Hilali is empowered to hear complaints of harassment at workplace and impose penalties on the culpable persons.