Diplomat recalled from Spain, suspended

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ISLAMABAD: The government has ordered an investigation against Pakistan’s consul general in Barcelona, ​​Spain, for his alleged involvement in a harassment case.

A local mission employee filed a complaint against Mirza Salman Babar Baig in June this year. The diplomat was suspended and recalled. The Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed that Babar Baig had been recalled. Diplomatic sources told The News on Friday that Pakistan’s ambassador to Madrid, the Spanish capital, Shujaat Rathor, who received the complaint, conducted an initial investigation and verified the accusations.

The Foreign Ministry has also designated two senior diplomats, Khalid Memon, Pakistan’s ambassador to Poland, and Mariam Madiha Aftab, Pakistan’s ambassador to Bulgaria, for another investigation. Both also endorsed Ambassador Shujaat Rathor’s findings. They recommended Babar’s immediate recall to Pakistan and punitive prosecution against him under the rules. Sources pointed out that the harassment took place in April, May and early June, and that he was in the office after sending all male employees home before time.

Sources said the employee is a mother of three and this was her fourth year at the consulate. Before June 15, 2022, when she firmly put her foot down and stopped the advances of the consul general, she was often hailed as the “best of the best” in the mission.

Sources said the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, had taken a proactive role in the case to seek justice for the victim. They said the main evidence against the diplomat was text messages in inappropriate language and instances where the victim expressed apologies and regrets.

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