The scandal about unproven harassment in the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) , has taken another turn because PTV management has banned the anchors for defaming the organization through social media and talk shows.
Tanzeela Mazhar and Yashfeen Jamal, PTV ancors — had complained to the PTV management against an employee Agha Masood Shorish for the alleged sexual advances and harassment.
PTV management issued a curricular on January 20th which stated that ‘certain’ PTV employees were using social media to comment on matters that were currently being inquired into officially.
According to the curricular “Such comments must be removed or deleted within 24 hours of issuance of the circular, failing which strict disciplinary action will be taken.”
However both anchors did not remove their statuses from social media and on Monday the PTV’s Controller Current Affairs Habibur Rehman issued a letter on Monday stating that both the anchors are banned immediately as anchors as well as participants in the PTV News.
He said “This is apropos to the January 22, 2016 TV show in which both the female anchors participated with beepers, defaming the PTV organisation.”
The notice further stated that no organisation could afford such insulting and defamatory behaviour of anchors in spite of their being on the payroll of the PTV. There is already underway an internal inquiry headed by a female officer of the information ministry with authority of the judicial magistrate, he said.
The anchors Tanzeela Mazha shared the details of harrassment on Tweeter last week and this issue has been discussed on social media strongly from last two weeks. People from different walks of life have started supporting the anchor for ‘speaking out’.
Miss Mazhar also shared the screenshots of personal chat, alleging Director Current Affairs Agha Masood Shorish of sexually harassing her and Yashfeen Jamal. Both have also been stating that the environment in the state-run television is hostile and condescending to women.
A PTV staffer, familiar with the controversy, said for the last many years some of the anchors – including the above two – had been provided with more on-air opportunities in the prime-time as well as financial benefits than other anchors.
He said “Now what has happened all of a sudden that they have taken to social media to raise their voice against the person who once supported them,”
A calling attention notice is submitted by PPP on Friday with the National Assembly Secretariat urging the Federal Minister for Human Rights to take action against incidents of sexual harassment at state-run television.