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Islamabad

August 23, 2017

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Nadra deputy chairman gets charge sheet

Islamabad :In an unprecedented move, the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has finally issued a charge sheet to its deputy chairman for alleged harassment of a junior female employee.

However, the deputy chairman said he was not involved in harassment of any kind. “The Fact-Finding Board has already found Deputy Chairman Syed Muzaffar Ali guilty and the department has started proceedings against him,” said a key official at Nadra when contacted by The News on Monday.

The matter made headlines when Deputy Assistant Director Syeda Shaheen Bukhari appeared in a press conference claiming that she was sexually harassed by the deputy chairman. 

Later she also filed an application with the former interior minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan who did not respond to her.

On June 2, 2017 the FIA Anti Corruption Circle vide letter No.DD/ACC/Dy. No.912/2017/1185-87 forwarded a copy of complaint by Syed Muhammad Zubair Shah Bukhari, a maternal uncle of Syed Shaheen Bukhari, to Nadra. 

The letter requested the Nadra to conduct a fact finding inquiry and fix responsibility against the delinquent person(s), and if any criminality was found the same may be sent to the FIA for further necessary action as per law.

The three-member Fact-Finding Board report, a copy of which is also available with The News, says, “It indicates that Syeda Shaheen Bukhari (the victim female employee of the organisation), was intentionally implicated into various inquiries and was harassed and ill-treated by the officer concerned (Deputy Chairman Nadra).”

Documents also reveal that the deputy chairman did not respond to the explanation letter issued to him on the above-mentioned charges by the Fact-Finding Board. The officer misbehaved with the board members when they approached him to get his side of the story.

“Syed Muzaffar Ali was requested by the Fact-Finding Board to comment in his defense on the allegations leveled by the complainant (Syed Muhammad Zubair Shah Bukhari) regarding harassment/mistreatment of his niece Syeda Shaheen Bukhari, Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) Nadra, but since 20th June 2017 till closing hours on 07 August 2017 despite reminders, the officer has not replied. It is important to mention here that the said officer threatened the Fact Finding Board of dire consequences and was rude and insolent when the Fact Finding Board visited him in person in his office,” says the report.

Soon after the Fact Finding Board report that was also submitted to the FIA, the Interior Ministry via its section officer also wrote a letter to Nadra and FIA telling them that they had also initiated an inquiry into the matter and appointed an additional secretary for the purpose.

The interior ministry while clearly interfering in the affairs of Nadra and FIA separately requested them to stop any action against the officer in question. The sources claim that the letter was written with the approval of in charge secretary interior. In this regard, this correspondent sent questions to the in charge secretary via WhatsApp, but he did not reply.

When Syed Muzaffar Ali was approached, he sent a written reply stating, "All previous inquiries against the officer were neither initiated nor closed by me. Her transfer or promotion case was handled much before my joining of HR Dte or working as Dy. Chairman. Only one medical bills case was initiated during my tenure and that too with full knowledge of chairman and HR/Vigilance Dte. The officer did not even make me respondent in her initial writ petitions at the High Court. 

I only once gave her uncle and brother a personal hearing and that too in presence of Dir HR in my office. I don't understand from where the word "harassment” comes and of what type. In fact, I directed two senior most lady officers (at DG and Director level) to take options from her and post her to a conducive working environment where she feels comfortable to perform and the same has been done.

May Allah guide the officer and ones using her to the right path. I am hopeful that the truth will prevail."  

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