An Aga Khan doctor has been accused of harassment after he reportedly sent a friend request to one of his patients. The problem is that this patient happened to be a relative of a celebrity. Filmmaker, journalist and activist Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy tweeted her disgust with the incident and ignited a firestorm of controversy in the process.
Aga Khan doctor accused of harassment
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy said her sister Mahjabeen sought treatment at the emergency room at Karachi’s Aga Khan University Hospital. Later, she reportedly received a Facebook friend request from the doctor who treated her. The Oscar winner tweeted that she would report the Aga Khan doctor for sending the friend request.
She accused him of harassment and declared, “There are zero boundaries in #pakistan!”
Not long after her tweets, rumors started spreading quickly over social media that the Aga Khan doctor had been fired, but a spokesperson for the hospital wouldn’t confirm or deny whether his employment has been terminated.
Is sending a Facebook friend request harassment?
Social activist Maleeha Hussain told Geo News that sending a Facebook friend request doesn’t constitute as harassment. She said it would be harassment if he had sent an indecent message or inappropriate picture, but the doctor hasn’t been accused of doing either of these things. She also notes that unwanted friend requests can simply be ignored, and the person can be blocked without a scene being made about what happened.
Someone claiming to be a friend of the doctor shared a post with blogger Ali Moeen Nawazish. The rumor about the Aga Khan doctor being fired may have come from this post, although it’s unclear. In the post, the writer agrees that what the doctor did was unethical but adds that a “hardworking” father of four has been fired and faces accusations of harassment for just sending a Facebook friend request.
Others, such as journalist Uzma Alkarim, side with Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, saying that “there must be more to the case than meets the eye” since she used the term “harassment.” She also noted that most hospitals don’t allow doctors to initiate contact with patients.