NAB Chairman sexual harassment scandal spark debate in NA

NAB Chairman sexual harassment scandal spark debate in NA
NAB chairman scandal sparks debate in NA

The government and opposition benches in the National Assembly clashed with each other on Monday on referring the sexual scandal of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, harassing a woman by exerting influence, to a committee after the Pakistan Citizen Portal (PCP) dropped her complaint while declaring it “beyond jurisdiction”.

In May 2019, the audio and video clips regarding the sexual conversation, gestures & misconduct of NAB chairman to a woman facing investigation by NAB authorities had taken social media by storm.

During the question hour, PPP’s Abdul Qadir Patel said that a woman named Tayyaba Khatun had filed a harassment petition against NAB chairman on the citizen portal but she was informed that the complaint was sent to the Ministry of Human Rights.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) urged that the NAB chairman’s video scandal should be handed over to a standing committee while the treasury benches termed the move a tactic to blackmail NAB and its chairman.

Women lawmakers gathered around the NA Speaker Asad Qaiser’s desk on the sexual harassment issue but he continuously ignored them thus one of them pointed out quorum.

PPP Qadir Patel pointed out that the written answer submitted before the National Assembly states that the matter does not come under PCP’s jurisdiction.

“We all come under NAB’s jurisdiction but NAB does not come under anyone’s jurisdiction,” Patel said while recalling that the NAB chairman had claimed that he was being “blackmailed” through the scandal.

He said that the complaint regarding video scandal was sent to the portal; a week later it was aired on a television channel, asking “what action was taken against chairman NAB on the issue of head-to-toe video.”

PTI lawmaker, Mohammad Ali Khan minister replied that court matters do not fall under the purview of the portal, adding NAB is an independent body and if there is any complaint against it, the courts are open.

PPP’s MNA Shahida Rehmani said that the whole harassment video is available and a parliamentary committee should be formed or it should be sent to the Human Rights Committee for investigation.

The speaker showed least interest in opposition parties’ demand and continued with the agenda.

The NA session was prorogued, as government failed to complete the quorum.