Rifaqatullah Razarwal

PESHAWAR: A woman from Kohat is constantly accusing former adviser to chief minister Ziaullah Bangash of sexual harassment, while the lawmaker says she is being used by his political opponents to tarnish his image and stature in society.

The woman, Rahatul Ain, said while talking to TNN that the PTI lawmaker from PK-38, Kohat, has got registered two cases against her, due to which she was in jail for 15 days. She alleged that she is a married woman and have children, but the ruling party lawmaker is constantly putting pressure on her to establish sexual relations with him.

On June 10, a video went viral on social media in which a woman can be seen entering into the house of Ziaullah Bangash in Kohat. The family of Ziaullah Bangash said Rahatul Ain entered the house and threw hot tea on the lawmaker’s mother and also tortured her. The woman was then arrested by police and taken to lock-up.

Rahatul Ain said she went to the lawmaker’s house for complaint against harassment to his mother, but her visit was branded as an attack and she was sent to jail for 15 days for it.

Speaking at Peshawar Press Club, Rahatul Ain said she used to work as host in Radio Pakistan Kohat where Ziaullah Bangash used to come. She said a radio producer compelled her to establish sexual relations with Mr Bangash, and she lost her job upon refusal. She alleged that Mr Bangash was a taxi driver and a habitual harasser. She alleged that police was hand in glove with the lawmaker.

Sources said Rahatul Ain has married second time after she was divorced by her first husband. Her first husband divorced her over allegations of bad character. Rahatul Ain said Ziaullah Bangash had destroyed her first marriage, and now he is after her second marriage.

‘Accuser woman is mentally unstable’

A spokesman for Ziaullah Bangash strongly condemned the allegations levelled against the lawmaker and said his opponents were conspiring and using a woman for his character assassination for ulterior motives. He said the woman was mentally unstable.

The spokesman said allegations were based on lies, and she was never contacted or interviewed. He urged the media to demand evidences from the accuser woman. He said the woman holds press conference sometimes from Lakki Marwat and sometimes from Peshawar which raises many questions, adding that those who were using women would soon be exposed.

The spokesman said Bangash’s team of lawyers has filed a defamation suit against the woman and the case against her is pending in the local court.

Sexual Harassment Act

According to Sexual Harassment Act of 2010, a person can be sacked from job if found involved in sexual harassment. KP Ombudsperson Rakhshanda Naz says the law provides similar punishments for men and women accused of sexual harassment.

The Ombudsperson told TNN the Ombudsperson can act only if it receives a proper complaint. Rakhshanda Naz said the sexual harassment convict can face Rs500,000 fine and the similar amount may be added to the fine if the victim says in the application that harassment caused depression which needed medical treatment. This additional amount will be given to the harassment victim. In case of harassment on social media or phone, the case is referred to Cyber Crime Department.

Under the existing law framed in 2010, every government and private institution is bound to form a three-member committee comprising at least one woman to hear complaints of harassment. Institutions are also bound to create awareness among female workers about harassment laws, but in most institutions, this law is not being acted upon.

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