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From Aitzaz Rehman Sheikh To Mohsin Abbas Haider — How Harassers Hide Behind ‘Progressiveness’

The past week has been particularly heavy for the women of Pakistan. When accounts of harassment come up, they stir all the trauma that women have worked so hard to bury deep down. The #TimesUp movement of Lahore that started last week from a private group on Facebook, had Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) students come out about the men in their batch and the professors, sexually harassing them.

And the testimonies of these iron women created a butterfly effect in helping young girls from different educational institutions all across Lahore chime in with their experiences of violation by elder men, who seem to have done no one, no harm.

It’s a pattern, you see. When predatory men maintain a persona of being soft, amiable and harmless so that they face no consequence for their actions when it comes to exposing them. Mohsin Abbas Haider, who was cheating on his wife and used to beat her black and blue, also was the same man who showed up to Aurat March. His wife, Fatima posted a detailed account of their marriage, while Mohsin having maintained a reputation of being the ‘good’ man, blamed her for being hysterical and said, “I wish there was an NGO to protect men’s rights.” Every one forgot. He’s good to be cast in films and television, again.

Omair Rana, who recently released an advertisement where the storyline follows the theme of empathy, was called out for doing the exact same to his wife when she was pregnant. Underage girls have accused him of sexually manipulating them during the time when his wife was pregnant. He was a drama coach at Lahore Grammar School and his wife, Maria Omair, was working at the administration office in the same school. She never accepted the victims’ testimonies against her husband, because, to her, he was a ‘good’ man.

Another was Aitezaz Rehman Shaikh, a Model United Nations (MUN) coach who was responsible for taking debate students on school trips. He started the MUN society of Pakistan. He’s also the managing director of GNR Consultants, a management consulting firm, and worked in the public sector before that. He has recently deactivated his LinkedIn too, but all we ask is, why now? If all these claims for special harassment against you were incorrect, why did you shy away?

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He has had an approachable persona and made sure that he got some benefit out of the extra pieces of training that he would give to his female students. His shirtless and inappropriate pictures have also been recovered by female students who were sexually harassed by him.

Men constantly leave us to this conclusion that none of them are safe and they will continue to prey on us. Each and every one of them. Yes, all men.

 

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