Former Pakistani ambassador to Italy penalized for sexual harassment


Islamabad: A former Pakistani ambassador to Italy has been dismissed from service for sexually assaulting a female trade official in Rome, according to the federal ombudsman secretariat for harassment prevention.

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

She said the ambassador had repeatedly sexually harassed her using various tactics and demeanours, forcing her to return to Pakistan due to the unpleasant working environment.

According to an official source, the lawsuit was submitted to the ombudsman office in 2018, and the ambassador retired last year.

“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,” according to the ombudsman’s order dated May 14, 2022.

A fine of Rs5 million is also imposed on the offender as compensation and legal costs to be paid to the complaint. “The order shall be forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for implementation in letter and spirit within seven days, with notice to the registrar office of this forum,” the judgement stated.

The trade officer claimed in her complaint that she had been “treated in an extremely disrespectful, unfriendly, and degrading way by respondent No I [ambassador]” since her posting to Rome. She claimed the ambassador ordered her to accompany him to places unrelated to her employment and to set up her apartment near his.

The ambassador’s energy supply to her Rome home was also cut off, according to the complainant.

During a visit to Italy by a team from the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, she said the ambassador insulted her for no reason. According to the complaint, she reported the incident to the Ministry of Commerce but received no response.

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

Read: Sending phone greetings to unknown women also falls under harassment: Kashmala Khan

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