AKUH doctor 'sacked' over sending FB friend request to Sharmeen Obaid's sister

Published: October 27, 2017
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy posing with her Emmy. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy posing with her Emmy. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

KARACHI: A doctor at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) Karachi has allegedly been fired for sending a Facebook friend request to one of his patients.

The patient is Oscar-winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s sister. Sharmeen took to social media and expressed her disapproval of the incident.

She wrote that her sister went to the AKU emergency and doctor who tended to her tried to add her on Facebook.

She added that the doctor had messed with the wrong women in the wrong family and she would definitely report him as harassment needed to be stopped.

Ali Moeen Nawazish, a young blogger, shared a post of a message written to him allegedly by the doctor’s friend, wherein the latter laments the firing of a kind, hardworking father of four.

The AKUH administration, however, neither confirmed nor denied the development.

“The AKUH always maintains the highest standards of confidentiality and will not release any information on either employees or patients,” the spokesperson told The Express Tribune.

Nighat Dad, founder of Digital Rights Foundation, said a “breach of confidentiality between a doctor and his patient is unethical”. If a victim feels it’s harassment, we can’t and shouldn’t take away her agency,” she added.

However, she added that the hospital’s response was “too harsh”.

“Firing the doctor isn’t a solution to this problem,” she maintained.

Abdul Hameed Bhutto, the in-charge of the FIA cyber crime cell Karachi, said sending a Facebook friend request, which could either be accepted or rejected, was not harassment.

This, he added, could not be contested in any court under the Pakistan Electronic Crime Act introduced in 2016.

“Blackmailing or sending obscene material through messages or posts is considered harassment, which in this case has not been done,” Bhutto maintained.

According to the Supreme Court lawyer Khalil Ahmed Siddiqui, sending an add request on social media does not fall under any definition of harassment. “It’s not an offence,” he added.

However, he pointed out, the act could be against the AKUH’s code of conduct.

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Reader Comments (39)

  • BrainBro
    Oct 27, 2017 - 6:23PM

    I don’t like this woman. Something is not right about her, but can’t point my finger at it. Recommend

  • Omair Ali
    Oct 27, 2017 - 6:56PM

    Speechless ! I am not on facebook anymore but this is ridiculous ! Getting fired or making it such a big scene on just a friend request? I think this is what do they call it in America? White privilege? This is definitely a case of psuedo/elite/upclass privilege. Messed with the wrong women? Man even the prophets would not think of themselves this much that how dare someone try to be friends with us?Recommend

  • Just Someone
    Oct 27, 2017 - 8:51PM

    A huge thumbs down to Shirmeen.Recommend

  • Jehanzeb Idrees
    Oct 27, 2017 - 9:16PM

    The doc should take both these “AURATEIN” and AKUH to court. Recommend

  • TheRealistic
    Oct 27, 2017 - 9:23PM

    First of all, I want to know how can this be treated as a harassment.
    Harassment accounts for being mistreated physically or being nude with someone over social media.
    But sending a friend request to someone cant be a harassment, on professional grounds it might be considered as unlawful use of authority. Since he was a doctor and his patient was a sister of the so called celebrity.
    This issue might have been put off just like any normal issue in Pakistan by involving parents or brothers or even the great director of Pakistan herself by reaching up to the doctor and telling him to back off or JUST REJECTED THE FRIEND REQUEST AND SENDING HIM A MESSAGE TO STAY AWAY. After that if he continued to according to them “misbehave” then it would come under stalking or harassment.
    And by stating your family’s name that he messed up with a wrong family what do u mean by that, u want to say that women who want get justice from “actual” sexual harassment are lower or their families are lower than yours. Are you trying to mimicries the cast system of hindus.
    Great Sharmeem MAAAAM please don’t take prejudice of what you have achieved and try to make Pakistan a better living place rather then feeling proud of your family’s name and status.
    By doing this you have already degraded your great family’s name by stating that it was a normal guy with a normal job who tried to be friends with your sister.
    Maybe if it was brad pitt or another hollywood actor you might have announced your sister’s wedding date!!!!
    Shame on youRecommend

  • raja faisal
    Oct 27, 2017 - 9:25PM

    This women is crazy , she is always trying hard to prove pakistani womens as victims , sometimes as acid attacks which happens almost in every country , and rape attacks in which america is leading and india ofcoz , and now as sex harassment case is on against one hollywood director this sharmeen want to add her part in that where all top hollywood actress and now blaming one director for rape and bla bla , i dont understand why not report on very first day to police why now all the womens are blaming that director , just to get role in next movie all those bitchz kept quite till now and all of sudden everyone is blaming , so sharmeen is an other biaaaatch playing in the hands of illuminati …Recommend

  • junglee
    Oct 27, 2017 - 9:25PM

    This lady has gone too far. But then, speaking my heart out would make me a misogynist, a word people love to use nowadays.Recommend

  • raja faisal
    Oct 27, 2017 - 9:26PM

    we also must not forget how this sharmeen won oscor , she showed the bad image of pakistan and west like that ..Recommend

  • Khalid Manzoor
    Oct 27, 2017 - 9:33PM

    Really…. is it harrasment….These psuedo liberals sometimes are the biggest hypocrites ever.. this one fits the bill… May be another award winnig documentary in the making….Recommend

  • Atsul
    Oct 27, 2017 - 9:41PM

    Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy sorry to say this but you are actually a poster child for arrogance.

    What do you think you and your FAMILY is? Just because you got an oscar on some useless movie makes you a superior class. Have some dignity, its this same Pakistani public that have given you this status which is making makes you so arrogant.

    This doctor is serving humanity and making a REAL difference in this world, on humanity scale this doctor is ranked much much higher then any useless oscar winning personality. You should actually thank him for assisting your sister.

    Some one send a simple friend request and you end up making a statement “Dare to mess with a wrong FAMILY”, WOW maybe you are right… trying to friend arrogant people from an arrogant family is really a stupid dare.

    Shame on you. If you have any dignity and humanity you should apologize to that doctor and make sure his jobs is restored. Recommend

  • Sultan Ali Ahmed
    Oct 27, 2017 - 9:53PM

    Absolutely ridiculous. This is a clear misuse of celeb power to ruin someone’s life. Sharmeen has weakened the case of women who are actually harassed. Recommend

  • sensible
    Oct 27, 2017 - 9:55PM

    Absolutely ridiculous! Recommend

  • Xof
    Oct 27, 2017 - 9:58PM

    It IS the her sisters responsibility to ptimize the “Add request” setting over her Facebook if its a matter of such pride for them!!
    If Shermeen and her family want to role this way, her sister is at crime first. Recommend

  • Awais
    Oct 27, 2017 - 10:35PM

    Now she should make a documentary on this issue too. People like her never miss a chance to injure #Pakistan ‘s name. Recommend

  • Sameer
    Oct 27, 2017 - 10:37PM

    Talk about liberal narrow mindedness!Recommend

  • Akbar
    Oct 27, 2017 - 10:51PM

    Holding an Oscar it does not mean that you understand the social perspective of Gender very well. Gender is a broad topic and within gender like feminism, “it is a typical approach toward a specific gender. It does not mean if someone is sending a friend request actually ‘doing an act of harassment.’ Facebook is an open source of social networking. Who will determine sending Friend Request is an Act of Harassment?” It is so sad to nag someone without any Rationale. Dark Side of Feminism.Recommend

  • Raheel
    Oct 27, 2017 - 10:55PM

    Asking a valid and pertinent question to Sharmeen about ethics of documentary after the Oscar, based on an article (and watching the documentary the very next day) which was more academic than her approach, and getting blocked by her for just asking a justified question is then also a harassment ;)Recommend

  • Sikander
    Oct 27, 2017 - 11:43PM

    Nobody dare say a word against the


    She is liberal and painstakingly

    shows the world how evil

    we Pakistanis are. Hence

    she can never be


  • Jaggo Kaka
    Oct 27, 2017 - 11:51PM

    Yet anothe ideal story for

    her to make a documentary

    on “sexual harassment” in

    so bad Pakistan and win yet another


  • Rahil
    Oct 28, 2017 - 12:57AM

    I am a clinician. I receive a dozen friend requests on Facebook mostly from my patients. Never felt like being harassed. AKUH response has really been disappointing. Recommend

  • Jawwad
    Oct 28, 2017 - 2:35AM

    What that doctor did was wrong in terms of the code of conduct of doctor-patient relationship. Being a doctor myself, we are not supposed to establish private relationship with our patients. However, I do not think what he did amounts to harassment, especially on social media.Recommend

  • Kashif Naqvi
    Oct 28, 2017 - 7:19AM

    It could be unprofessional, however these days social media has blurred the boundary of what is and isn’t an unprofessional act. But what this isn’t is harassment by any stretch of imagination. Would a patient sending friend request to a physician tantamount to harrassment? Can such a physician refuse to treat such a patient. Sharmeen has clearly hastened to judge. Loose the ego- that’s my advise to herRecommend

  • Babur Sohail
    Oct 28, 2017 - 9:17AM

    “A film based on true story” her upcoming documentary captionRecommend

  • Zaida Parvez
    Oct 28, 2017 - 9:28AM

    Sacked for sending a friend request?! Unbelievable !!
    There’s something wrong with this lady for sure.Recommend

  • Ayesha Aly
    Oct 28, 2017 - 12:11PM

    This is just no right. Sending a Facebook request cannot be considered as harassment. AKU should seriously reconsider their decisionRecommend

  • Ali
    Oct 28, 2017 - 12:35PM

    So sad. I have read approx all the comments of the readers, i am very pleased to say this that the people of Pakistan are sensible and competent. The way they reacted on this nonsense issue, is heartening. First of all this Madame Sharmeen Obaid is mentally sick, secondly she needs to know that if she thinks her to be elite class or whatever nobody cares, because its no offense in sending someone friend request even if someone is celebrity. Now its a cheap popularity stunt in reality. And a chance for that Doctor to become a celebrity or Hero for winning against a propagandist like sharmeen, through suing her and AKUH in the Court. I am a lawyer and i know they both (Sharmeen Obaid and AKUH) owe an apology to that Doctor if the case is taken to the Court.

    Shame on you Sharmeen Obaid.
    Everyone has a right to send anyone a friend request.
    Secondly, you need to educate yourself through getting admission in Nursery class, for you don’t even know what is harassment and what’s not. You take pride in winning those awards and on this baseless issue you take the name of Pakistan??? That in Pakistan there are no boundaries???? And you say that how dare he sends requests to (wrong) women and (wrong) family…. No doubt, you are wrong you both women and your family, when you don’t know how to respect this Pakistan which gave you the second highest civilian award. Shame on you, i gusess i am going to sue you myself in the court for disrespecting my Pakistan.

    I request my Pakistani brothers and sisters to be realistic and do not believe in the idioms and quotations of these so called heroes and heroines like Sharmeen Obaid.

    Long live Pakistan. I am sorry to you (Pakistan) for this lady.Recommend

  • kk
    Oct 28, 2017 - 12:53PM

    FB request should be sent by an american or english.then it would be alright bz sharmeen family like white ——–?????Recommend

  • Hassan Sarwar
    Oct 28, 2017 - 1:52PM

    I am also a doctor and try to be very friendly with all the patients as well as there families and try to answer all the questions that mostly don’t make any sense and they thank me while leaving I consider this a big achievement but this so unnecessary shirmeen obaid insulted my profession she must be a patient of psychological distortionRecommend

  • Muhammad Asim
    Oct 28, 2017 - 2:04PM

    The reaction from Sharmeen is very poor, FB have only one option to get connected with someone and that is “send friendship request”. The said doctor may have a professional reason behind to stay connected with the patient, but Sharmeen instead of geting into the reasoning she shooted an allegation, which is very incorrect. What a shame…..Sharmeen you might have won few Oscars but learn to win the hearts of people. its a lesson for you…..
    The only thing i can say is “May Allah Kareem give you more wisdom and self control”Recommend

  • Truth
    Oct 28, 2017 - 2:18PM

    I guess Mrs. Obaid just lost a fan. The doctor might have sent her sister a FB friend request on a possibility of meeting Mrs. Obaid. I cannot believe this that her sister didn’t brag about her being Mrs. Obaid sibling. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Oct 28, 2017 - 3:03PM

    She is working on foreign agenda against Pakistan.Recommend

  • Dazed and Confused
    Oct 28, 2017 - 3:28PM

    While there is no doubt in my mind that Shermeen Obaid Chinoy’s menopausal twitter tirade was a ploy for sympathy and to garner support in showing how pervasive sexual harassment is in our society, I remain completely at a loss as to why AKUH felt the need to also overreact and jump on to her bandwagon.

    While the inner workings of AKUH for the large part remain a mystery to most people, i am in no doubt that the hospitals Management and PR dept are now working over time to sweep this whole sorry episode under the “proverbial” carpet, much in the vane they do for the multitude of complaints and law suits that are regularly filed against its incompetent staff and management.Recommend

  • Bilal Muhammad
    Oct 28, 2017 - 5:57PM

    After reading this, i came to know that on my fb all pending friend requests by unknown females are actually harassment. So be careful ladies i will file harassment case against you.
    Is harassment definition says only male can harass female or vice versa exist. Recommend

  • Zaida Parvez
    Oct 28, 2017 - 6:09PM

    This lady is supposed to be speaking for oppressed women?!
    She is the oppressor !!Recommend

  • ik
    Oct 28, 2017 - 7:33PM

    Arrogant Sharmeen – Oscars gone to her headRecommend

  • Shahbaz ali
    Oct 28, 2017 - 8:07PM

    This is very insane. The lady has won 2 Oscar awardas by abating the image of Pakistan.Moreover She is working for the west. Rape cases,acid attacks, harassment, sexual abuse, honour killing and gender based violence is a global phenominan. U.S. India, are the leading countries in gender based violence. However, Instead of making film on Acid victims. She may also made a film on Pakistan Army and its efforts against terrorism, but she always try to hurt the dignity of Nation. Now she wanted to win 3rd Oscar award thats she is trying to Degrade Pakistan’s image by all means. In a nutshell, she is not loyal to Pakistan. However, the post of Doctor should be Reinstated, AKUH should scrutinise the matter and injustice which they had done to its doctor. Recommend

  • Umair
    Oct 28, 2017 - 9:28PM

    I don’t care who this lady is. She is a nobody here in America. Thank god im an American doctor and not one over in that country where they are abused and treated like garbage.Recommend

  • Mohammed Shuaib Sheikh
    Oct 29, 2017 - 2:01PM


    Dr Umair no need to get so worked up. The doctor in question was wrong but the punishment is too harsh.Recommend

  • Saif
    Oct 30, 2017 - 10:45PM

    Sharmeen overreacted by creating a big fuss over it and so did the hospital management by firing the doctor. Recommend

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