Jami-Haroon rape allegation saga — where this to head?

Jami-Haroon rape allegation saga --- where this to head
  • Read the stories of both guys 
  • Why Jami did not think of his children?

By Nazim Malik 

    What mechanism will Dawn adopt to investigate ‘Jami-Haroon’ rape allegations? a question being asked on social media in this saga.         

Filmmaker Jamshed Mahmood on Saturday named Dawn CEO Hameed Haroon, a man who allegedly raped him 13 years ago.  Popularly known as Jami made the accusation on his Facebook page. He did not mention about in which gathering Haroon raped Jani.

     The timing of his disclosure is also important one. It has come at the time when Dawn is facing a lot of arm twisting. One wonders why did not Jami bother to think his disclosure’s impact on his children. He has a son, 17, two daughters — 14, 9 — what they would have been thinking about their father what impact thy would have and they have to face this society. Strange…Isn’t it?

         Haroon Version

     Haroon in his strong response out-rightly rejected Jami’s rape accusations. “The story is simply untrue and intentionally fabricated at the instance of those who wish to silence me and through me, to compel the newspaper that I represent to support their repressive narrative,” Haroon said in a statement and also vowed to take legal action against him.    

“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 shared that he had feared “this entire plot that I’m part of Establishment to bring Dawn down” would be used against him. The director clarified that coming forward with his story was not about “Dawn vs Jami. It’s personal issue raised now (because) I’m doing all this for few years to help victims.” He rejected the notion that he was acting on the behest of anyone, despite having been approached by some hoping “to bring down Dawn”.   “We refused every single time as I told them 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.”

  “I’m giving my word to Dawn management that I would never hurt Dawn ever […] issue is sexual assault, not Dawn.”
    Hameed Haroon: “For some three months now, tweets in the social media and some print media, some of which have been authored or prompted by Jami Raza, have alleged that Jami was subjected to rape many years ago but was ‘coming out’ only now because the rapist was an ‘influential and powerful media personality’. Hitherto fore, strangely the alleged rapist was never specifically named, even though hints and innuendos were dropped from time to time that could be taken as suggesting that it was the CEO of Dawn, Hameed Haroon. “But since I had not been specifically named in the 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.

   “At the outset, I reiterate my commitment to come to the aid and support of victims of rape, sexual assault and harassment. I unequivocally condemn such dastardly acts whenever and wherever these occur and in whatever shape or form and whether they occur at the workplace or outside. I have always demonstrated sympathy and support for all rape, sexual assault and harassment victims regardless of whether the perpetrator is powerful or not.

    He said: “In the same breath, I am conscious that false and malicious allegations are sometimes 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 and thereby to shatter one’s credibility for collateral purposes.

  “I categorically deny the allegation of rape leveled against me by Jami Raza. The story is simply untrue and intentionally fabricated at the instance of those who wish to silence me and through me, to compel the newspaper that I represent to support their repressive narrative.

   “I first met Jami Raza when he was a freelance photographer and aspiring filmmaker in the 1990s or the early 2000s, which was the time that Jami had produced photographs of the Sir Jehangir Kothari bandstand for the purposes of architectural documentation and conservation. Impressed with Jami’s work, I enlisted him in 2003-04 to collaborate with me on a photo essay in the catalogue of the Sadequain exhibition at the Mohatta Palace Museum. I do recall going to his house sometime thereafter to condole on his father’s death but was unable to personally meet him. I do not recall ever being alone with Jami Raza. This has been the sum total of my interaction with Jami.

   “I am 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. It is not a mere coincidence that this particular tweet comes at a time when groups are being organized to demonstrate against Dawn and mysterious wall chalking is appearing, with both demanding the hanging of Dawn’s CEO and also its editorial staff.

    Haroon further said: “I am determined to expose those behind these false and malicious allegations and pledge to keep aloft the banner of fair and accurate reporting without fear or favour. 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.

     Jami’s speaks out reported by Gulf News

    “I was doing many projects [names edited]. A photographer [name edited] introduced us. I was a photographer for all the popular magazines. My work, my videos were being noticed. My black and white work was considered very artistic. He called me for various things. It was intense work, not just taking photographs. The work I did re-envisioning the work of one of Pakistan’s most celebrated artists [name edited], that was quite tough. He loved it. We only talked about work. We met in his office once. Rest of the time, it was always at his place, always in the afternoon.

   “Our meetings continued for two-three months. We became very good friends as we were working on a big project [name edited]. He has deep knowledge of [edited]. He is aggressive about everything, hundred percent, all the time. He’s never silent. He’s always on the go, this is to be done, that is to be done. You can’t get a word in. He’s so aggressive. Everyone at his company [name edited] knows. You can’t even have tea if he’s around. His sexuality is not a secret. It’s not that. He’s just not a stable human being. That’s why I spoke up. That it must stop. That day I went I to talk to him about [edited] at his place. I had food with his mother. Then I went to his room.

    “Suddenly, he changed. It happened in seconds. He changed to a different mode. He was not the same man. The sophistication vanished. He started to mumble. He was all over me. Jami, you’re beautiful. It went ugly from there. By that time I was completely frozen. I shut my eyes. Stupid, stupid me. Instead of hitting him. He put his elbow on my neck. He started to choke me. That’s when I was really scared. I had heard of rapists killing their victims.”

    “He was sitting on his bed, in shorts. I was standing. He told me to sit on the bed. I had gone there to talk about work. Nothing was said about work.  Where was I to sit? There was no chair near the bed. He told me to sit on the bed. My instinct stopped me. He was so assertive I couldn’t say anything. He told me to be silent. I wasn’t stoned, drunk. Nothing. I don’t drink. I understand it now. I hate myself. No, I wasn’t a closet homosexual. I had never had a sexual thought about any man. He grabbed me. My reflex is not to hit back. I knew what was going to happen. It lasted for a few minutes. Maybe five minutes. I was completely silent. I knew myself. I knew main khatam ho gaya tha. I was finished. I can’t shut down. He sat down on the bed, and started to smoke a joint. He turned to me and said: “You must have enjoyed it. Don’t say you didn’t.” I couldn’t understand what he was saying. It was as if he was trying to put an idea in my head.”

    “I kept saying ‘no’ as it happened. I kept saying ‘stop’. I still remember what I thought. I knew that was the end of me. It’s not that he thought I was into men. With people like him it’s about power. Even if you weren’t interested, he’d have his way. I’m so powerful, so sophisticated, so well-educated. You’ll do my bidding. He could see I didn’t want to sit near him, hug him. I don’t like to hug anyone. Men, women, anyone,” Jami said.    

“He asked me twice: “Did you enjoy it”? That’s the high. The one who says ‘no’ attack him. He could see that I was in a state of shock. I was praying for my phone to ring. I couldn’t move. I was scared he’d do something else. The door was at some distance. He was rolling a joint. I was thinking of ways to get out of there. I was stupid. The ‘victim’ type. It was written on my face. Now I think about things I should have done. I pretended to get a phone call from my wife. I told him my son had hurt his head and I had to go immediately. His eyes scrunched, he was scowling, he looked angry.”    

“I just hated myself. If I had been willing even slightly I would have let it continue…I had ‘given up my honour’, so let’s continue to play. I think he was in love with me. He kept saying how beautiful I was. I left. I ran for my car. Driving for a while, I stopped the car on the side. I cried. I went home. I went straight to my wife.  My wife looked at me. She asked me about the meeting. I was silent. She knows me very well. Love marriage. She asked me again. I started to scream. My son was very little then. I was the baby in the house. I cried. I said, ‘Garbarrr ho gayi. He raped me’. She broke down.”    

“My wife still doesn’t know the details of what happened to me. After the rape, I became very aggressive. Even now I get very angry. People tell me to cool down. For a year or two, it affected me deeply. Then it seemed as if I had forgotten. My personality changed. I became the screaming kind.”    

“I’ve three children, one son, 17, two daughters, 14, 9. They know the story. Now my son is a tad better. The 14-year-old is very hurt, has been crying. She’s hurt because in her eyes I’m very strong.” —  Pak Destiny 

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