A female medical officer at Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has lodged a complaint against five men, including PIA’s chief medical officer for Karachi, a deputy medical officer, lab assistant and an ambulance driver, accusing them of attempting to rape her.
The alleged incident took place about a month and a half ago, around May 23, at the Garrison Golf Club in Lahore Cantt. No report was filed, however, until recently, according to PIA’ Public Affairs General Manager Mashood Tajwar.
“It is not clear why the victim waited so long, but because she did, medical evidence cannot be used to prove her accusation and the investigation has to rely on internal sources instead,” Tajwar told Pakistan Today.
When the victim finally filed her complaint, she took it to PIA’s managing director (MD) through the service provider, who then called an enquiry committee to internally investigate the matter as per PIA’s sexual harassment policy.
Tajwar said the complaint was only filed as sexual harassment, and since it has not yet been established what the nature of this harassment was, it cannot be called a rape case. Other sources, however, have reported that the victim has named the incident as rape and that she even said that the culprits recorded a video of the act.
The victim, according to PIA sources, has since resigned her position in the airline.
The enquiry committee that has been formed comprises PIA General Manager (Works) Colonel Akhtar Lateef and Deputy General Manager Amna Khawaja.
Both members told Pakistan Today that they are gathering the data for their investigation and would complete their report within two or three days. According to Lateef, the accused men were called in and cross-examined, and all five have denied the charges against them.
Khawaja, who is also the head of PIA’s Committee for the Protection of Women, assured that there would be no biases affecting their decision about the case.
Should the committee determine the charges of sexual harassment or rape to be true, internal action will be taken on their recommendation and an FIR will be filed against the accused.
Punjab Health Minister Tahir Sindho has also taken notice of the incident and said that he would personally oversee the enquiry.
The victim was unavailable for comment, despite Pakistan Today’s many attempts to contact her.