Celebrities react to Sharmeen, AKUH doctor fiasco

Published: October 29, 2017



Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy needs no introduction – the illustrious film-maker made us proud by being the first Pakistani to bring an Oscar home. She is a strong advocate of women empowerment; always taking the initiatives to promote the positive side of Pakistan.

She rose to fame with her pioneering documentaries on social issues prevalent in our country and has made headlines since.

Sharmeen has recently made even more headlines – however, they’re not for a documentary or an Oscar this time.

The oscar-winner has created uproar after she took to social media to express her disapproval of the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) ER doctor sending her sister a friend request on Facebook – labelling it as harassment, also adding that ‘Pakistan has zero boundaries’.

This resulted in the doctor being fired.

Since then, the hospital’s ratings have gone down drastically.




AKUH responded with a statement which read, “The Aga Khan University Hospital always maintains the highest standards of confidentiality, regardless of patient or employee status and will not release any information on its patients or employees. AKUH follows its policies and makes its decisioins based on facts, and not on any social pressures.”



This social media storm has the nation divided. Whilst some have backed the film-maker, others called her out in more ways than one.

Pakistani actress Ushna Shah lended her support for Sharmeen through a Facebook post.



But on the other hand, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Nomi Ansari and Farhan Saeed view this incident from a completely different perspective.

Pakistani academic and columnist Ali Moeen Nawazish responded to Sharmeen’s tweets on his facebook page, “Sharmeen Obaid thinks sending a request on social media is harrasment:

RIDICULOUS. People get requests on social media all the time. Sometimes it is for networking and sometimes you just want to stay in touch with the person. People who are related to or close to public figures get it more. Specially because generally I don’t know about here, but they use that status to get special treatment. Hundreds of people add me on Facebook a day.”

He continued, “Now Sharmeen Obaid says that’s this is harassment. I am sorry but I not only fail to see it but also feel like throwing around such a claim is actually taking away from real victims of harassment. Sending a request on Facebook which you can accept or refuse is not really any form of harrasment. Is asking for someone’s number harrasment too? Which is going to be perfectly acceptable because it’s accepted in Western countries right?”

“Whats next, asking for a pen is harassment, asking for a tissue would be harassment. A picture in which someone accidentally comes in the background will be harassment. Looking at someone for three seconds will be harassment??? Please there were no wrong connotations and this is just ridiculous. Should the doctor have sent the request? No! Was it unusual? Yes. Was it unprofessional? Yes. Was he harassing her? Oh please,” Ali concluded.


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

Disclaimer: Sharmeen’s official Facebook page was not taken down by Facebook at any point.

Regardless though, this fiasco has definitely created more than just chaos and hit Pakistanis hard.

Do you consider a Facebook friend request to be a form of 'harassment'?

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Reader Comments (15)

  • irfan
    Oct 29, 2017 - 2:08PM

    She is a controversial personality . She is being accuse of using victims ( after offering handsome returns ) and full support in her movies . Once the movie was produced, victims have faced severe reactions from their families , and she didn’t offer any protection and provided monetary support as promised by her. Recommend

  • FAS
    Oct 29, 2017 - 2:16PM

    People won’t report you for harassment if you send Marriage proposal to any one. They will simply refuse or accept. They will not make fuss out of it. Sending FB friend request is far less “CRIME” as compared with sending Rishta.
    Request means you have an option to reject it or you can even restrict others from sending you a request. If you have kept it open, it means you are open for friend request from any one.
    Miss Sharmeen is just trying to incash her celeb power. Recommend

  • Arnab Slowswami
    Oct 29, 2017 - 2:49PM

    Ahh! The beauty of Free Speech!Recommend

  • resilient
    Oct 29, 2017 - 3:17PM

    How many other patients did same doctor sent FB request? Or was inspired by Sharmeen’s Sister? if that’s the case then its not harassment but doctor’s “Tharak attitude” which is common problem for most of the South Asian Men.

    On the other hand had such incident happened with Sharmeen’s sister in Western World where she is bestowed with Oscars had she dealt it the same way? “Sexual Harassment” Recommend

  • Khan
    Oct 29, 2017 - 3:26PM

    she is pathetic and always brought SHAME to Pakistan, she is not a celebrity but a shame, the Oscar she got to malign Pakistan, she needs some education, does she knows how many women raped, molested and harassed in Europe, UK, US and India, does she knows how many single mothers in UK, Europe, US and India.
    Does she have the guts to make a documentary film for those women and highlights how many teenagers are single mothers and increasing every year?Recommend

  • nedian
    Oct 29, 2017 - 4:10PM

    She is simply sick, mentally!Recommend

  • mastishhk
    Oct 29, 2017 - 4:17PM

    Facebook has privacy settings that block unwanted friend requests !!Recommend

    Oct 29, 2017 - 4:40PM

    On social media request doesn’t force you to accept it as you have a right to accept or decline then how it become a sexual harassment? If it is then why so many women use it needless to say it is a cheap stunt. I certainly doubt this narrow minded lady made Oscar winning documentaries (cetainly doubtful).Recommend

  • Imdad Ali
    Oct 29, 2017 - 4:50PM

    Since we don’t know other side of the story about this case, From what we know so far about Sharmeen Obaid and her past ‘achievements’, my opinion about Sharmeen Obaid is: “She always tries very hard to fascinate the Western audience by showing mostly a false, poor, wretched, downtrodden, unjust, and illiterate image of Pakistan to bag those awards. A typical hypocrite feminist !”

    Sharmeen Obaid just made a mountain out of a mole-hill. She can’t see other big issues in the country and do something about them. What else she has done apart from finger pointing? Actually, she just loves to get attention and doesn’t leave any opportunity to fulfil her insatiable desire of being a hardcore feminist.Recommend

  • samunderkerang
    Oct 29, 2017 - 5:28PM

    Facebook is in public domain, you can find anyone with their name, what is the problem with friend request. Recommend

  • Humanoids
    Oct 30, 2017 - 8:45PM

    100% of the guys yapping here that its not harassment, would not send their sister or mother to the same Dr. Every ones sister should be respected and Dr broke the ethics by sending a friend req,. A pt and a Dr are never FRIENDS. Whats then stops a male gynecologist from sending a request to your wife whom he just examined/
    Be sensible, women tell more to Drs than to their family, so confidentiality cannot be broken, he broke it and Ms Chinoy and AKUH did the right thing! Recommend

  • Hassan Sarwar
    Oct 30, 2017 - 9:50PM

    Cheap attention seekerRecommend

  • Muhammed A Rao
    Oct 30, 2017 - 10:38PM

    it is a shame what she has done – the worst the could have been done; was to reject the friend request. She seems to have overdose of Celebrity addiction – which she was/is not able to digest.
    Everyone knows a movie – against Pak would be shouldered by Western Media (which is clear by the awards) – and she is misusing the power now

    Shame on her and anyone who does not differentiate between real harassment vs blackmailRecommend

  • MJ-Sid
    Oct 30, 2017 - 10:44PM

    “Unfortunately the doctor messed with the wrong women in the wrong family”

    She is right here. Her “family” got 100’s of crores of loans written off. We all know such families in Pakistan. They are just too powerful to be messed with. Recommend

  • Mirza
    Oct 30, 2017 - 11:27PM

    It is not between man and woman requesting to be friends. In such case the person requesting has only info that other has provided to all openly on FB page. They never have any of the body exam and medical details. It is a professionally trained and experienced doctor armed with all the details of woman’s body, her intimate routine or problems, her past and present. Armed with all the info about body and past jump to be friends right after first visit. Does he have a pattern with young female patients, is he married we don’t have all the info but hospital does.
    The management has the facts and policies and they made the decision on his past and present record and complaints. None of us has these facts yet we are holding the woman responsible. Nobody is protesting or taking the management to court because they know it is against a high class hospital policies and standards. So let us beat upon the woman!
    Those talking that women have option to reject his request and shut up are mostly men of our Islamic Republic. It is like blaming a rape victim why did she go out she had a choice of staying home? The girl paraded naked, why did she not cooperate with the perpetrator? If Sharmeen did not stand up no other woman would and the doctor would continue body and soul inspection of voiceless women.
    More time is wasted in trashing a woman than ever against those who paraded a naked child on the streets. The rich doctor who started all this has more sympathy and empathy than real poor desperate and vulnerable women victims in our country. In short there is no talk of is the doctor married, and why would he so prompt and anxious to prey upon woman? In the mind of many men educated women are fair game and they should remain quiet for sake of their reputation. Does the good doctor request all the male patient, children and old? Recommend

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