Sexual harassment has been occurring quite frequently in Pakistan since long with mostly women on the receiving end; it is only now that with the advancement of media and social online platforms including the new-found courage with the women of this nation that these cases are reported as they come.
The authorities, however, have not yet set an example of consequences that a proved harasser will face upon being arrested, which has led to an escalation in such vices targeting minor to adult women of Pakistan; including men too.
Recently in Karachi’s restaurant, Al-Sajjad at Do Darya, a woman by the name Mehwish went out for a late dinner with two of her friends. Sadly, the experience she had there around 2 AM will haunt her for the rest of her life.
Al Sajjad’s drunk waiter reportedly tried to sexually harass Mehwish and tried to dash when she started screaming.
The legal notice including the statements of her friend conveys the details of the incident. Mehwish was in the ladies washroom when this intoxicated waiter tried to break into the washroom. As the door was locked, he started to kick it and continued for more than five minutes to unlock the door. After a bit of struggle, he managed to come inside the washroom according to her friend Faraz he tried to touch her as she fought him, trying to stop him. As the last resort, Mehwish started to scream at the top of her lungs and only then he started to run away.
Upon narrating the incident to the senior manager Mr. Ziauddin, the victim requested him to pull out the CCTV footages for the waiter’s identification. After 30 long minutes, the manager refused to check any of the surveillance footages to find that employee. Furthermore, he also kicked her out of the restaurant, reportedly.
Mehwish feeling helpless at this point dialed the police helpline and when they arrived she gave them an account of the event. Mr. Shakeel, a police official checked the CCTV footage that laid every detail bare showing the waiter entering and then running out of the ladies washroom.
The waiter was arrested and placed behind bars but no FIR was filed.
He was taken to the Sahil police station but the S.H.O of the mentioned police station refused to lodge an FIR against the waiter of Al Sajjad as the owners of the restaurant are influential people with strong connections.
Justice delayed is justice denied.
If this is indeed proven and the waiter of this renown restaurant of Karachi is guilty then Pakistan’s law shouldn’t succumb to influence and power but make an example of such harassers. The owners too, like responsible citizens of Pakistan, should assist in this case making sure everyone that is remotely linked to this incident should be fired immediately.
No one is above the law only if the justice system strengthens itself, unbiased of all ‘connections’ and ‘external pressure’.
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