Monday, June 29, 2009

Cruel Dunya Update - 1

Ok, so with reference to the sexual harrassment allegations against MD Dunya TV Yousaf Baig Mirza (YBM), first reported on Cafe Pyala here, YBM has chosen not to respond. In his stead Dunya TV's Current Affairs Director Nasim Zehra has written a letter to PFUJ's Secretary General Shamsul Islam Naz, who circulated a statement about the matter.

The text of Nasim Zehra's letter follows. Watch this space for updates.

Subject: PFUJ's News Item on Dunya News

AOA Shamsul Islam sahib,

I have just seen the news item, reproduced below, prepared by the PFUJ secretariat under your signature on June 27 and circulated by email. It concerns Dunya TV. It would have been appropriate if the concerned organization should have been contacted before a responsible organization like PFUJ would have issued a news item.

Dunya News takes such allegations seriously and hence an Inquiry Comitteee was immediately initiated. Pending the Committee's findings all that I would humbly point out is that PFUJ upon reading the complainant Ms. Maheen Usmani's letter(reproduced below and attached) must have realized that the complainant claims sexual harrasment on the basis of a phone call. This therefore is a case that requires close scruntiny of the letter and of the events that have led to the complainant's allegations.

I regret that the news item circulated by a responsible body like PFUJ appears to have taken a one-sided position on a very serious matter; one that requires thorough investigation.PFUJ's news item appears to give its own conclusions on the case whose inquiry results are still pending. PFUJ must stand for the rights of journalists, as we all must, but indeed remaining within a credible process. in this case PFUJ has taken a unilateral position without checking on the complete picture which could only emerge after a credible Inquiry.

Let me also point out that Dunya takes matters of Gender Equality very seriously and has previously taken action against a on an earlier complaint raised by the complainant. Hence while underscoring the seriousness with which all organizations must remain committed gender equality and gender respect I would again like to point out that unfortunately PFUJ has completely the importance of of due process. Unilateral conclusions on such a serious matter do not behove a body like PFUJ which indeed stands for the rights of journalists who shoulder the responsibility of conveying the truth to people.

Thank you,

With Regards,

Nasim Zehra

Director Current Affairs

Dunya News


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