–Haroon rejects allegation, says ‘accusation fabricated at instance of those who wish to silence me and my newspaper’
Film director Jamshed Mehmood Raza, known popularly as ‘Jami’, has accused Dawn Chief Executive Hameed Haroon of rape, an allegation that Haroon categorically denied through a statement issued Monday, terming it “simply untrue and intentionally fabricated”.
Jami had first come forward in October earlier this year, saying he was “brutally raped by a very powerful person in our media world”. He had said he was speaking up to show solidarity with survivors of sexual violence and the #MeToo movement.
At that time, he had refrained from naming the alleged perpetrator but claimed that he (the perpetrator) belonged to the media industry.
In a Twitter thread on Saturday, Jami named Haroon as his rapist and said: “Im ready now. R u ready to print this @dawn_com?”
However, Haroon “categorically [denied] the allegation of rape” in his statement and announced that he was “initiating legal action to clear my name and reputation, and to safeguard the freedom of the press”.
“But since I had not been specifically named in the [earlier] tweets, I was advised, that even though I had a fair idea of who was prompting Jami Raza, I should exercise restraint until I was specifically named. On 28th December, Jami Raza specifically named me and it has therefore become necessary to respond,” he added.
The Dawn CEO also “unequivocally condemn[ed] such dastardly acts” and said he “always demonstrated sympathy and support” for victims. However, he also talked of false allegations “leveled by powerful groups to serve their own social and political agendas with the calculated motive of destroying the reputation and dignity of a person”.
He noted that he was “convinced that the false and malicious allegation has been leveled at the instigation of powerful interests in the state and society who, for their own motives and the promotion of their own repressive narrative, wish to destroy my credibility and as a consequence thereof, the credibility of the newspaper group that I am associated with”.
“So far as the tweets and some newspaper reports are concerned, I am initiating legal action to clear my name and reputation, and to safeguard the freedom of the press by bringing to justice all those responsible for these false and malicious allegations against me,” he added.
In a statement responding to Haroon, Jami rejected the assertion that he was acting on behalf of anyone by accusing Haroon.
“I’m from a family where we don’t use any illegal means to serve any purpose at all. Rest we will see in court. This is for victims and survivors. We put our neck out (because) #metoo died here in Pakistan (because) of all these dirty tricks,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter.