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Pakistan’s ex-envoy to Italy dismissed for sexual harassment

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The federal ombudsman secretariat for protection against harassment has fired an ex-envoy of Pakistan to Italy for sexually harassing a female colleague in Rome.

The Ombudsman sentenced Nadeem Riaz on Saturday in response to the complaint by the commercial officer, Saira Imdad Ali.

She registered a complaint that the envoy had sexually harassed her over and over again through different tactics and made the working conditions for her so difficult that she was impelled to leave for Pakistan.

According to an official source, the matter was tabled in the ombudsman’s office in 2018, while the ambassador retired last year.

The order issued by the ombudsman dated May 14, 2022, stated: “After threadbare security and analysis of the case and after completing the due process of law, accused Nadeem Riaz, head of mission embassy of Pakistan Rome Italy was proceeded against and imposed upon major penalty of dismissal from service under section 4(4) of the Act 2010.”

Likewise, the accused is also sentenced to a fine of R5 million to be paid to the complaint as compensation for and cost of the litigation.

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The order will be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for implementation in letter and spirit within 7 days under the direction of the registrar’s office of this forum,” read the decision.

In her complaint, the trade officer stated that since her posting to Rome, she had been “treated in a highly disrespectful, hostile and humiliating manner by Respondent #I [ambassador].”

She said the ambassador ordered her to travel with him to places irrelevant to his work. She was also ordered to set up her residence near the ambassador’s residence.

The complainant claimed that the ambassador had also obtained electricity from her home in Rome to be cut through the company concerned.

She said the ambassador insulted her for no good reason during a visit to Italy by a delegation of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

She stated that the ambassador made her work without an authorized translator from January 2018 to June 30, 2018.

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