Ex-ambassador Nadeem Riaz penalised for sexual harassment

Published May 16, 2022
Former ambassador of Pakistan to Italy Nadeem Riaz. — Photo courtesy Institute of Regional Studies Islamabad website/File
Former ambassador of Pakistan to Italy Nadeem Riaz. — Photo courtesy Institute of Regional Studies Islamabad website/File

ISLAMABAD: The federal ombudsman secretariat for protection against harassment has imposed the major penalty of dismissal from service on a former ambassador of Pakistan to Italy for sexually harassing a female trade officer in Rome.

The ombudsman on Saturday imposed the penalty on Nadeem Riaz on the complaint of the trade officer, Saira Imdad Ali.

She complained that the ambassador had sexually harassed her time and again through different tactics and manners and made the working condition for her so hostile that she was compelled to return to Pakistan.

An official source said the case was filed with the ombudsman office in 2018 while the ambassador retired from service 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.”

Similarly, accused is also imposed upon a fine of Rs5 million to be paid to the complaint as a compensation and cost of litigation. The order be sent to Ministry of Foreign Affairs for implementation in letter and spirit within seven days under intimation to the registrar office of this forum,” read the decision.

In her complaint, the trade officer said since her posting to Rome, she had been “dealt with highly disrespectable, hostile and humiliating manner by respondent No I [ambassador].” She said the ambassador directed her to travel along with him to places unrelated to her job and in addition to that she was also directed to arrange her residence near that of the ambassador.

The complainant said the ambassador also got electricity supply to her house in Rome disconnected through the company concerned.

She said the ambassador insulted her without any valid reason during the visit of a delegation from the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry to Italy. The complainant said she reported the incident to the Ministry of Commerce but without any fruitful result.

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

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2022

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