News Desk |
In the latest development, the Chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Justice (r) Javed Iqbal has been accused of sexual harassment by a local TV channel. The channel ‘Newsone’ aired audio as well as video clips allegedly associated with the chairman NAB and demonstrating sexual misconduct.
#ChairmanNAB Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal faces another scandal. A local tv airs the audio and video clips of his alleged sexual conversation / interaction with a lady.Lady alleges that she faced #NAB case once she refused following instructions of Chairman. pic.twitter.com/VKkojmLb4j
— Azaz Syed (@AzazSyed) May 23, 2019
NEWS ONE Clarifies
After some time the concerned TV channel decided not to carry the news anymore and demanded more time to probe into the matter. It led to many other questions where people demanded the Pemra to take action.
Huge UTurn from Newsone. I think PEMRA should ban this channel. How can a channel black mail institution like NAB? #ChairmanNAB pic.twitter.com/bWRNW6htwZ
— Rizwan Yousaf (@rizwangill318) May 23, 2019
NAB Rejects Allegations
The anti-corruption watchdog has categorically rejected the allegation and termed the video libelous, propagandist and fake, NAB said in a statement that it was an attempt to blackmail the state institution over ongoing corruption investigations against a gang of blackmailers. The NAB press release claimed that 42 cases of blackmail and kidnappings for ransom had been registered against the gangsters.
Social Media Reactions
Mixed reaction can be seen on social media where people are divided on the incident. Some pro-NAB citizens have decided to stand by the NAB since it is working to cut the corrupt politicians to their size. The opposition parties have recently threatened the NAB chairman not to exceed his constitutional mandate. PML-N and PPP slammed the chairman NAB and blamed him for being in contact with the ruling party.
I don’t like Chairman NAB because of his professional misconduct. But It’s no one’s business if Chairman NAB’s this conversation is personal & he is not misusing his authority.
We must learn some ETHICS not to intrude anyone’s personal life. Please don’t
— Shama Junejo (@ShamaJunejo) May 23, 2019
He did not commit abuse of power nor did he use his position to get any gains. Even for the sake of argument lets suppose he did make that phone call, it doesn't make him a culprit. That's his personal life. Period.#NABChairman #NABChairmanPhoneLeaks
— Amlish Ghaffar (@amlishG) May 23, 2019
Manzoor Pashteen once highlighted harrasement issue of #NABChairman in a TV show but no one bother to accept.#NABChairmanPhoneLeaks https://t.co/vikQ1zYovy
— Amjad Qammar (@amjadqammar) May 23, 2019
A social media user said that “a group leading by Farooq Nool has planned of character assassination of #ChairmanNAB Javed Iqbal. This news was exposed by Ch Ghulam Hussain GhulamHusainPK few days back.
A group leading by Farooq Nool has planned of character assassination of #ChairmanNAB Javed Iqbal. This news was exposed by Ch Ghulam Hussain (@GhulamHusainPK) few days back pic.twitter.com/eoLB6QCrpH
— ASKardar (@ASKardar) May 23, 2019
Ali Moeen Nawazish opined that “we all hold our public officers to a higher standard than we do everyone else. Public figures and officers also as such are not entitled to the same level of personal life as everyone else is. Whether the videos were released maliciously or not, there are two important points.
In Pakistan, there is no denying of the fact that women have to face sexual harassment and inappropriate attitude by their male counterparts or officers on a regular basis.
The videos establish that it is the Chairman himself and that the exchange was in his office. He is sitting in his official government office when the alleged exchanges took place. This opens him up to scrutiny, misuse of office and power. Even as alleged that this is a blackmailing cell whose people are under investigation that makes the exchanges even more inappropriate.”
Government’s Involvement Being Questioned
Moreover, there are people speculating that the government has a direct or indirect link with the news since the owner of the TV channel is Special Assistant to the Prime Minister.
Video and audio recording of #ChairmanNAB leaked in which he sexually harassing someone's wife.
Video is leaked by "News One" whose owner "Malik Tahir Khan" is special Assistant to PM.
Recording is leaked to avoid possible arrest of Parvez Khattak & other #PTI ministers.
— Salman Ibrahim Ch (@VoiceofSalman) May 23, 2019
Similarly, Najam Sethi of 24 News predicted one night before that the Prime Minister was not happy with the chairman NAB who was likely to arrest some members of the incumbent government.
نجم سیٹھی نے کل رات ہی چیئرمین نیب سے متعلق خبر بریک کر دی تھیpic.twitter.com/NHEtRsTA7L
— Naya Daur Urdu (@nayadaurpk_urdu) May 23, 2019
Strict Probe into Case
It is believed whether the video is fake or not, the government must ensure that these allegations are seriously probed and the case is concluded. In Pakistan, there is no denying of the fact that women have to face sexual harassment and inappropriate attitude by their male counterparts or officers on a regular basis.
Read more: NAB chairman’s statement against corruption is making sense
In offices and universities, sexual favors are demanded by men (who hold public office) to give due/undue favors to women. However, women are also misused many times by political rivals to target their political opponent through character assassination. This case is important and demands seriousness and thorough investigation to settle the matter.