Six quit Patari after CEO accused of harassment allegedly reinstated

Patari, however, has a completely different stance on the matter...


Entertainment Desk July 02, 2018
PHOTO: AHMER NAQVI/FACEBOOK

Patari, the local music streaming giant, has now lost six of its core members following allegations that former CEO Khalid Bajwa, who had had harassment claims against him, was still heading the company despite resignation confirmation.

The interim CEO, Ahmer Naqvi,who was appointed a few hours after Bajwa apparently stepped down took to social media to share that him, along with five other essential members have decided to resign from Patari. "It is with great sadness that we, the undersigned, resign from Patari. It is a company where we can no longer work freely under the values that brought us to it – and which are now under threat," wrote Naqvi.

He went on to address that amid the harassment allegations, Patari swiftly asked Bajwa to resign and an audit to assess the accusation started. "Earlier this year, the emergence of harassment allegations against Khalid Mubasher Bajwa led to him stepping down as CEO. We acted swiftly to keep the company afloat, and to protect its moral standing," Naqvi continued.

Patari CEO Khalid Bajwa steps down following harassment accusations

He added, "While we waited for this audit to complete, all trust within the company was destroyed. Members of the company’s leadership, namely Mr Bajwa along with co-founders Faisal Sherjan and Humayun Haroon, violated the company’s governance, undermined ongoing projects, and threatened the roles of the company’s management."

He then asserted that Bajwa continued his role as the CEO, even though he was asked to step down. "An internal meeting made clear that some of the co-founders thought Mr Bajwa had been unfairly victimised, and that there was no room for some employees, including many of the undersigned, to remain in the company," stated Naqvi.

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He continued, "It felt clear to us that while Patari had always sought as on organisation to champion progressive ideals to the world, the co-founders were refusing to apply the same values to one of their own."

He went on to comment on the apparent hatred female employees at the organisation became subject to following Bajwa's actions. "One example of this hypocrisy was seen through the consistent online hatred faced by Patari employees, especially women, on social media by commenters who have continued to associate Mr Bajwa’s actions with them – with no basis. But while these employees remained silent in order to respect the audit’s process as it continued, Mr Bajwa continued to represent the company, ignoring the tremendous damage and trauma being faced by his erstwhile colleagues," exclaimed the interim CEO.

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"For most of us, joining and working at Patari was an emotional and an ideological calling, and we genuinely believed in the vision the company displayed. Consequently, we worry now about further damage to the brand and its mission without greater scrutiny, structure, and foresight. We are leaving the organisation now because we believe that continuing to work under these circumstances will be tantamount to abandoning the values and vision of the company we had joined," he went on to point out.

While Naqvi and other decided to resign, an audit has been completed in order to take the organisation forward. "We hope that the company returns to its values, and are hopeful the audit will help ensure that," added Naqvi. "Unfortunately in the company’s current environment we believed there was no room for us, our values, or our work."

Soon after Naqvi's announcement, Patari came forward with one of their own. Taking to Twitter, the organisation released a statement, saying Bajwa had not been reinstated as the CEO.

PHOTO: PATARI/FACEBOOK PHOTO: PATARI/FACEBOOK

"This company statement is for immediate release with a more comprehensive statement to follow. After a two month audit and negotiation between Co-founders and principal investor," the statement read.

The Express Tribune has reached out to Patari and Ahmer Naqvi for a statement and is currently awaiting a response. 

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