Shockingly, the Federal Ombudsperson on Harassment of Women at Workplace, Ms Kashmala Tariq, yesterday ordered an assault against Waqt News anchorperson, Matiullah Jan, and his three member team. Mr Jan had scheduled an appointment for an interview. Upon completion, Ms Tariq expressed her disappointment that the interview had been mostly about politics. She was invited to review the footage, and to re-record any questions that she felt needed further explanation, or to record answers to a few more questions to change the ending of the interview.

Instead, Ms Tariq saw fit to unleash a torrent of abuse on the team after reviewing the footage. She ordered her staff to snatch their cameras, confiscate their mobile phones, remove the footage from the cameras, and to imprison Mr Jan and his team in the room where the interview had been conducted until they handed over the footage.

Perhaps most disappointingly, the Federal Ombudsperson on Harassment of Women at Workplace was seen in footage recovered from the interview, to be accusing Mr Jan and his team of harassing her, and her entire office. If the Federal Ombudsperson on Harassment of Women At Workplace does not understand the meaning of the term harassment, and chooses to use it as a way to justify her appalling behaviour, surely there can be no worse person to occupy the office of the Ombudsperson. Women’s causes, already seen with such skepticism in a patriarchal society, cannot possibly be helped by the behaviour yesterday of the Ombudsperson Against Harassment herself, and that too while there is footage available of her completing the interview, being politely requested by Mr Jan to review the footage, her deciding that she does not wish the entire interview to run, asking her staff to come into the room and snatch the footage, and subsequently ordering an assault on the visiting journalists.

Perhaps even sadder is the fact that Ms Tariq, a practiced politician, is so comfortable with the use of violence against those whom she wishes to silence. In a position of power, to resort to assault, betrays a base mindset, and one unsuited to public service. One can only wonder what government saw in Ms Tariq, to elevate her to such a position.