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Canadian-Pakistani woman harassed, asks to hold men accountable instead of women

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News Desk |

A Pakistani-Canadian woman has filed a complaint of sexual harassment against two men in Islamabad. Assma Galuta is a Canadian model and humanitarian worker who is married to a Pakistani man and is currently on a visit to Pakistan.

The woman claims she was repeatedly harassed by two motorists earlier this week. First Information Report of the incident has been registered. She said she was waiting to go home when two men in a car started cat-calling and repeatedly called her to get into the car. On her refusal, they followed her cab for almost two hours as she traveled to her destination in Islamabad.

“When I told them to leave me alone, they started laughing. They blocked me from getting into my Uber and then followed my Uber from Bahria Town to Islamabad, trying to block the driver and even asking the driver for my drop-off location,” she stated.

When I shared this on social media, some followers told me that if I really wanted to push a report with the police, I’d have to go to the police station, which was an hour away and I would have to bribe them.

“I had to change my drop-off location and hide in the mall until [I] was sure they were gone and then I went to my Airbnb,” she wrote in her complaint.

The models said she took refuge in the mall afterward. She tried to call Police Helpline 15 and they asked her to contact the nearby police station to file the complaint. She then lodged the complaint on Prime Minister’s Portal. In a video posted on her Instagram, she refused to take her to complain back and shamed the people who were blaming her for the incident.

“It’s not just about me or my kids, it’s about all my sisters, all these stories I hear from women who were sexually harassed or abused by men and it goes unreported because then they blame the woman. ‘Why were you traveling alone?’ ‘Why were you not with a man?’ ‘Why was your hair not covered?’

Read more: Not so “Sacred Games”: Series creator accused of harassment

“When I shared this on social media, some followers told me that if I really wanted to push a report with the police, I’d have to go to the police station, which was an hour away and I would have to bribe them. I’m not going to bribe anyone to do their job, I’m sorry, no.,” she said.

“And why do I care about this so much? I’ve married a Pakistani, I live here, it is my home. And if I’m going to be living here for a long time, my kids will be Pakistani and it will also be their home so I want the country to be safe for them as I want it to be safe for me and my sisters,” added in her video message.

Read more: Sanam Saeed says time has come for sexual harassment to end

The inspector-general (IG) of police for Islamabad has ordered the alleged stalkers be arrested in 24 hours.

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