Ombudsperson accuses TV reporter of manhandling staff during interview
The office of the Ombudsperson on Women Harassment has accused a Waqt News reporter of attempting to attack Kashmala Tariq and manhandling other staff following an interview relating to International Women’s Day.
In a statement released on Friday, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, the ombudsperson’s office said that Kashmala Tariq and Matiullah Jan were recording a message for Women’s Day when the reporter started asking “various inappropriate questions that were not in line with the intent and objective of the message for the particular day.”
Upon conclusion of the recording, the communique added, the reporter and the federal ombudsperson discussed some issues off the record.
“The ombudsperson noticed that the camera was still recording…she raised objections on the unethical behaviour, upon which, as the situation got tense, she was assured that the footage would be deleted.”
At this point, according to the statement, the reporter used some harsh words and “demanded that the federal ombudsperson does not touch the equipment and in a frightful exhibit of aggressive and violent behaviour lunged towards her and the camera”.
In this heinous act, the statement maintained, “He not only assaulted the federal ombudsperson but also pushed and injured other members of her staff, one of whom was pregnant.” Jan was also accused of choking a lower staff official who was trying to protect the ombudsman.
“It was decided that the police being the appropriate authority, should be called. Upon seeing the number of witnesses to the event, Jan and his team attempted to escape, following which it was necessary to restrain them in the court of the ombudsman, where the incident took place until the appropriate authorities could come and apprehend them.”
After they also failed, a contempt of court order was prepared to address the matter, seeing which Jan, “in his aggressive and violent state, once more, tried to push through into the office” of the ombudsperson and injured more staff members in the presence of the authorities and various witnesses. “At that point, the situation had deteriorated where the action was necessary, therein warrants for the arrest of [Jan] and his team were prepared so that the unfortunate, yet highly contemptuous matter could be proceeded on in a legal and judicious manner.”