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Babar Azam case of sexual harassment: FIA order suspended by the high court in Lahore

In its sessions last week, the Court of Lahore suspended the order to refer the case against Babar Azam, under charges of blackmail and harassment, which had ordered the Federal Investigation Agency in Pakistan (FIA).

After Haris Azmat, the lawyer of Azam told the court that the previous judgment was passed without hearing the viewpoint of the cricketer in the case. However, the case was never registered by the FIA, as a stay order against such a move was obtained from AZAM's legal team.

Two weeks were given to all the parties concerned - Azam, Hamza Mukhtar, who had lodged an action against Azam, and FIA.

In the run-up to Pakistan's visit to New Zealand last year Mukhtar launched the case. She held a press conference in which she alleged she was harassed and exploited by Pakistan's captain. At that time, she had contacted a court, and the court had ordered the police to investigate.

Subsequently, the court ordered the police to register a case and investigate Azam within the limits of the law, as they felt the allegations were troubling and warranted a full investigation.

This case, too, had been never registered, as Azam's legal team managed to obtain the stay order from the high court in Lahore, and the proceedings were postponed, since both the two of them had forced him inside a bio-safe bulb to play against South Africa first and then in the PSL. He is currently preparing to play South Africa and Zimbabwe on a tour of Africa.

Mukhtar ultimately filed a complaint with the FIA alleging it had received threatening calls from unidentified individuals and messages. The FIA discovered one of the registered numbers on behalf of Azam - Muhammad Babar - while investigating this issue. The agency called Azam to appear, but he did not. His brother, Faisal Azam, came in his place and demanded more time.

Once Azam had not arrived, the FIA concluded in her original report: "This shows its part guilty." Judge Hamid Hussain ordered the FIA "to continue to register FIR against perpetrators within the time constraints of legal formalities last Thursday."

So far Azam has not commented - the PCB has kept silent about it - but said last week, "It's in court and it's up to my lawyer. We are faced with all kinds of hurdles and I'm used to them. My form or cricket has not been affected by this problem."
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