I refused a sexual relationship with my boss, he refused to pay me for my work

Published: December 6, 2016

He told me that the job was very simple and easy and he would pay me $600 for it.

If you’re working as a freelance writer, you’re bound to meet and work with people belonging to different cultures and mentalities. To maintain a healthy business in a professional manner, especially now when technology and virtual communication is integral to any business, it’s important to set certain restrictions and guidelines, leaving room for flexibility. But in all cases, be careful about who you trust because this is what happened to me when I let myself trust a ‘big name’.

Two months ago, I chose to work for a well-known journalist, Wajahat Kazmi – one of those personalities who have a very charming public profile with a lot of fans and followers. They come across rather respectable and professional. But boy was I wrong! The project he initiated required a freelance writer for a month. Hence I applied and was awarded the project.

I trusted him. How could I not trust someone with such strong work ethics? This man had been working for many reputable institutions such as Samaa TV, Dawn, BBC, CNN, CTV, Huffington Post, DNA India and International Business Times. I agreed to work for him without any advance payment, as he said the amount exceeded his visa card limit at the time of him offering me a job.

Essentially, the ‘project’ was to write articles for his blog and then to share them to all his social media accounts. For a month, I excelled at my job, aiming to develop a long-term contract with this seemingly reputable and professional man. He always appeared to be happy with my work, considering he gave little to no criticism.

I later understood why this was so.

After completing my month, and when I was preparing my invoice for all the articles that I wrote for him, he told me that he wanted to reward me by assigning me another task. Of course, I was happy to hear that; it eliminated the trouble/time used to find a new project, and more work meant more money. Although he didn’t need to put in much effort to convince me since he told me that the job was very simple and easy and he would pay me $600 for it. I jumped at the opportunity. That is until he disclosed what the task really was.

This ‘easy task’ was to have a sex chat with him.

I was instantly disgusted and boiled with rage. But considering that he hadn’t paid me for the month-long project as yet, I had to address the issue with a sound mind. I reminded myself that freelance projects expose one to a mix of people and even when you disagree with another’s opinions or thoughts, one should always conduct themselves in a professional manner. I politely explained to him that I’m content with the project I just completed, one where my expertise in writing and marketing were exercised, and that I wasn’t interested in tasks of any other nature.

For the next 10 days, Mr Kazmi kept on insisting. He kept pestering me to participate in sexual chats with him and began to address me in a language which was sexual in nature. I asked him to be professional but he had other things on his mind. And he still hadn’t paid me for the project either.

He kept providing illogical reasons for being unable to pay. I suggested all kinds of options and mediums he could use to make the payment, to the extent that I was willing to send someone to retrieve the money from him in person.

The last option that Mr Kazmi provided me to make his payment required full access to my credit card details, including the number, security code and the issuing/expiry date. I refused to give him the information he was asking for since I suspected it was a scam.

An advance payment for such projects is a basic requirement when availing opportunities over the internet. But sometimes, we excuse and choose to trust well-known, reputable names based on their credibility in the field.

I chose to write about my experience to expose this man for what he really is. I hope my experience will encourage other people to come forward and share their own so we can all be aware of who we’re dealing with. Sometimes even the most reputable people in the world lack respect for other people and their boundaries.

Note:  At about 3pm, on December 6, 2016, after this piece was published, Wajahat Kazmi disabled his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.  

Amira Hashim

Amira Hashim

The author is a freelancer marketer and writer. She started writing after 7 years of working as a marketer and decided to turn her passion into a professional career.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Nouman Ahmad

    Kudos to you for highlighting this and not giving into his blackmailing. I am going to share it as much as possible.Recommend

  • Usama

    I am very sorry that this happened to you. I hope you find honest people to work with in the future. Recommend

  • Parvez

    That was pretty detailed and would be hard for Mr. Kazmi to refute……but to be fair it would be good to hear what he has to say.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    I stopped reading after: “Ït’s your fault”

    Stop with the victim blaming.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    He’s deleted his Facebook and Twitter.Recommend

  • Syed Zarar

    Sexual harassment is not the fault of the victim. Although I understand what you’re referring to, it was still an idiotic statement to make.Recommend

  • Anonymouse

    Dear Mr. Cashewiph,

    Can you define what “such works and people” are? Exactly how is it the author’s fault? Freelancing is a well respected avenue in the field of writing if you must know. Frankly, I would rather hear both sides before sending Mr. Wajahat to the gallows.Recommend

  • Muhammad Shahrukh Abbasey

    Amira Hashim make a complaint with Federal Ombudsman Secretariat for Protection against harassment of women at workplace,I am sure you will not be dissapointed. http://www.fos-pah.gov.pk Recommend

  • Aaa

    You are very brave for doing many women stay silent on this issue well done for exposing him serves him right. Recommend

  • Zohaib Qamer

    LOOK AT THOSE SPELLINGS….. OMG SPELLINGS….. OMG GRAMMAR
    I am surprised that both of them work/worked for all these ‘reputed’ news/social media outlets…. faith in humanity lost……Recommend

  • Hassan

    would love to see ur reaction if the same was happened to your sister. this is the best thing i have seen on Tribune better than publishing bollywood news . at least it is exposing a criminal. what else would u like this paper to contribute. many girls would get aware and saved from such people. i have my doubts that u r someone related to Wajahat Kazmi.Recommend

  • angrybird

    thta guy already deleted his twitter and fb accounts..Recommend

  • Ahsan

    What more proof do you need? That guy is a total creep!Recommend

  • Nabeel Ahmed

    Report to Cyber crime Department of FIA they have strict compliance and case investigations related to Online harrasments and Frauds.Recommend

  • Talha Rehman

    Seems fake to me. The grammar is just terrible and i doubt a professional journalist can be so grammatically naive.Recommend

  • RJSS

    The guy in discussion is trying to delete his online footprint – His Twitter account is already inactive and this confirms his fear and guilt. #Coward. Shame on him. Salute to the lady for standing up against harassment and remaining strongly professional. Well done.Recommend

  • Naveed Masood

    So proud of you that you decided to come out of the closet and fight this harassment!! Hope you get what is rightfully yours.Recommend

  • MR.X

    This is shameful by the man in this case if he is guilty.And yes his view should be heard. These things are happening in universities and offices in Islamic republic of pakistan. Men and women are both involved. We are getting sick day by day.Recommend

  • Naveed Masood

    i wonder what world Mr. Cashiph lives in. Freelancing is an accepted form of work globally and is a rising industry. such a poor excuse to blame the woman. People are desperate not everyone has a business network – thousands of people freelance in Pakistan to make ends meet and they do not deserve this form of treatment.Recommend

  • MR.X

    no brother hes actually calling the man bad.read carefully again.u misunderstoodRecommend

  • Noman Ansari

    I called him a piece of crap and was complimenting ET.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Editors work their magic.Recommend

  • Pointraiser

    Did you receive the payment?Recommend

  • Haseeb Aftab

    That is really embarrassing however you need to file the case at FIA Cyber crime so that the guy will get his reward. Frustrated man!Recommend

  • farah sadiq
  • Raza Aslam

    As a woman especially in our society , it must have taken a lot of courage to post this and that too with your name.
    So many girls go through stuff like this from entitled small people like him.
    Thank you for showing the world his true face and more power to you.Recommend

  • amirza1985 .

    you dint get what he saidRecommend

  • IBN E ASHFAQ

    May Allah give you courage by exposing a WOLF…………can somebody serve justice in this case…….or is it too much to expect from our JUSTICE system………Recommend

  • Alber

    brave ladyRecommend

  • Muhammad Usman

    You should file proper case in court against him.Recommend

  • fk

    I am so proud of you. Send this article to all the news agencies he works with. Write for huffington post, cnn bbc everywhere. Name and shame him!Recommend

  • Bilawal Bashir

    Why? These screenshots are here. If it was false, why would he disable his social media accounts?

    So please try not to blame the freelancer here, Wahayat is a creeper.Recommend

  • Sabih Zafar Ullah

    The guys face book clearly appears to have been hacked. Some scammer trying to skim money from the poor woman.Recommend

  • Bilawal Bashir

    With your sentence structure, I’m surprised you even passed metric :PRecommend

  • Bilawal Bashir

    Yeah, the social media links posted there are gone.Recommend

  • SalmanAhmed6

    Well done… Very courageous to have stood firm and to have brought this into the open! Recommend

  • Haney

    What a stupid, pathetic jerk was he. I was cringing all the way, didn’t had courage to read all article, closed once then again muster up courage to know what’s happening in our society. Having intimate chat with children of 3. Is he really that stupid, desperate or what ?

    But i must praise your for remaining thoroughly professional, Lady. I admire you for being come up and not even showing slight sign of Anger. Awsome.!!! Recommend

  • Gemini

    LOL Nice StrategyRecommend

  • https://timebandit.github.io @ImranNazirMir

    I am a UK born Pakistani; growing up here our elders gave us the impression that the people over in PK; although poorer, are raised in a more virtuous, god fearing and family oriented way; not like us ‘ungraiz ki awlaad’ with our ‘western’ habits.

    Having spent six months living there I realized that it was all a fantasy and that many of the young men there are not so innocent. In that six months there, I heard more ‘bakwaas’ from the men than I have heard from any desi bought up the UK up till the present day.

    It makes me wonder what UK parents who take their daughters to PK to find them a husband are thinking to themselves; I don’t think they have realistic expectations and that they should insist on a HIV test from any potential suitor.

    In that six months I was asked on three separate occasions by friends of relatives if I wanted a prostitute, came to learn about the loafers who take photos of young women and then blackmail them into ‘sex chats’ and got an inkling that when a man say he is going to Lahore on a ‘business trip’ they are invariably ending up in heera mundi. Yet the same men want a ‘good girl’ for a wife who knows how to cook and will look after their parents.

    The same men who will be agreeing to the killing of Qandeel Baloach will be adding girls they don’t know on Facebook and be looking for girls from the high-schools they can go on ‘kissing’ trips with.Recommend

  • http://futurecmo.org/ Babar Khan

    Thanks for speaking up.Recommend

  • http://futurecmo.org/ Babar Khan

    people like you are the reason waterboarding was invented.Recommend

  • Aamna Hassan Fasihi

    Thank you for not fearing about your ‘izzat’ and exposing such pathetic men. It’s clear that he wanted to scam you but idk what do these men even get by ‘sex chats’. Cheaper orgasm? :/Recommend

  • http://www.wajahatkazmi.com Wajahat Kazmi

    What a big shame! Express Tribune didn’t even have the guts to approve my comment and explanation on their website in the comments section and deleted it while it was being moderated. Speaks volume about the level of their journalism based of hype rather than facts.Recommend

  • Aamna Hassan Fasihi

    This piece of crap was probably not taken up by any other publishing entity because the guy had been associated with some notable ones. Recommend

  • Ali Kazmi

    This looks like a case of identity theft, some hacker might have take over his account. Please report to Facebook or whatever media has been used and also to cybercrime control/police etc.Recommend

  • Kamal Shahid

    Its matric (as in matriculation). Metric is a system/unit of measurement. Goes to prove you too are not that bright, eh?Recommend

  • Sandra Peterson

    Utterly disgusting! Let’s what he comes up with in regard to his clarification.Recommend

  • Javed Iqbal

    That’s disgusting this guy seems a scam, I work for CNN and let me tell you very clearly Mr Wajahat Kazmi has nothing to do with CNN at all. Recommend

  • Javed Iqbal

    This is disgusting I work for CNN for last few years and let me tell you very clearly this guy has nothing to do with CNN. Recommend

  • Hasan

    This still doesn’t prove you did not send those messages. If you had any complaints regarding the lady’s work you should have had brought them to her knowledge. Having said that, kindly share the evidence of plagiarism that you are alleging on her part. Even then it will not help prove you are a sick pervertRecommend

  • fatima

    And then there are these elitist misogynists who will read an entire article on horrendous sexual harassment. But the thing that really hits home for them is the bad grammar. Like lady yes yes you may have been harassed and all but please do not subject our anglophile ears to your bad spelling!! Get your priorities right! You are making us lose faith in humanity with your bad grammar.Recommend

  • Gemini

    I think that this is a marketing tactic to get fake fame and nothing else, As negative marketing spreads way faster than positive things. If they both have to prove something then visit cyber crime cell and show them proper proof’s not screenshots and they are there to help you.Recommend

  • fatima

    She’s not threatening to create fake screenshots in that email. She’s just saying she will take screen shots of your actual conversations. It is you who are implying that she will make fake screenshots.Recommend

  • Gemini

    LOL Then maybe a guardian angel disabled your facebook and twitter accounts for a while.Recommend

  • Muzzammil

    Thank you, for being brave and exposing that jackalRecommend

  • Hussam Mehboob

    Damn that’s how you take out someone with your words. Good riddance of such pervertsRecommend

  • Anonymouse

    I agree with you Noman, first of all the email trail subject is “Last warning to pay my salary”, this indicates that there was some earlier warning which had been clearly stated by the blog writer. Secondly, if she was indeed blackmailing him why would she demand just her salary? if it was faked, she probably could have demanded more? Lastly, even if she was as unprofessional as you claim, and seeing how you are a “Professional Journalist”, what happened to all that professionalism when you posted that woman’s private email address for the world to see, where you decided to hide your own? Deactivating profiles? Sad state of affairs.Recommend

  • Nouman

    Let Be clear and unbiased.

    this is a blog not a verdict against kazmi. so let court decide who is guilty…

    not supporting him but i have seen many character assassinations on pakistani media and later those “suspects” proved innocent…Recommend

  • hp kumar

    ET pl removeRecommend

  • Hamza Rasheed

    It is “Let’s see” not Lets see.Recommend

  • Farooq Muhammad

    Dear Sister, I salute your bravery and courage upon exposing an ugly social beast. You saved so many before be victim.Recommend

  • Aasim Toori

    Amira Hashim, you need to sue this man…this guy has no ethics, no professionalism and above all no respect for a women. To him, women are just sexual objects. He needs to punished by Government of Pakistan under women protection act. Its about time people like Wajahat Kazmi should be put under trial.
    I feel sorry for what you have gone through.

    Regards,
    Random civilian of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Cashiph

    She did the right thing to bring it on digital media through Tribune, svaed herself from any blackmailing and like that.Recommend

  • Ali from Texas, USA

    Hats off to you sister for exposing such a scum. I think this is a matter which FIA must look on and book this con artist…Recommend

  • Cashiph

    With the SIM every scammer and facebook account will be caught, No strategy will work.Recommend

  • Cashiph

    http://www.ombudsman.gov.pk is the Federal website.Recommend

  • Cashiph

    I adviced her to go to Court. I guess we all on this forum can contribute to her legal fees if she requires.Recommend

  • Muhammad

    Looks like the guy just wanted a free lunch and it has come back to bite him in the ass.Recommend

  • Cashiph

    This is cyber crime evidence and the used SIM will tell the whole proof. One nigth Chitrol in lock up. Only one night. He will agree for his requests of sex chat with Altaf even.Recommend

  • Cashiph

    I adviced her to file the case with the relevant authorities. And it’s also necessary to point her mistake without knowing that such people are never linked with key media houses.Recommend

  • Cashiph

    I adviced here positively to contact relevant authorities.Recommend

  • Cashiph

    I made this statement so further house wives and women should know and avoid such works with non-reliable online work dealers, in simple words.Recommend

  • Muhammad

    You have got yourself in a pickle by posting this email screenshot Mr. Wajahat.

    All this proves is that the disgusting chats really happened, you did not pay the author her dues and you were ready to defend yourself by blaming it on *fake screenshots*; because “how hard is to create fake chats”.

    It is really sickening to see to what extend you have gone to get work done for free by making the author uncomfortable.Recommend

  • Cashiph

    Please be ethical as waterboarding was not invented for me. I can also tell inventions for you.Recommend

  • Anonymouse

    Thanks for you insight Cahewiph, I am sure that’s how you would like to be treated as wellRecommend

  • Cashiph

    There is no timestamp on emails, which comes in between subject and the sender. only date is mentioned. This conversation is created fake.Recommend

  • Cashiph

    Amazing point.Recommend

  • shary

    well don!!! good job doneRecommend

  • http://www.redalicerao.com/ Maliha Rao

    I am so glad you spoke up. Cheers and respect to you Amira Recommend

  • Pietro Mazzarol

    Naming and Shaming is fun. I’m sure my friend Wajahat Abbas Kazmi (completely unrelated Italy based documentary director) will agree. He’s receiving hundreds of threats thanks to you.
    But hey, someone asked to have a piece of dat ass, so EVERYONE must pay, right?Recommend

  • Mirza Aasauf Baig

    You should have set up Milestone Payments.Recommend

  • Anonymous Rebel

    hey Wajahat! what are you wearing? ;)Recommend

  • Anonymous Rebel

    That comment has been approved.pathetic explanation BTW.Recommend

  • ch g

    Amira Hashim… What a brave girl u r. I respect you completely and this man disgust all. My Support and prayers are with you, Allah bless you.

    UNLESS this all is lie ….. :) could be both. Lie or truth. will be known though.Recommend

  • Ammar

    Please contact the Cyber Harassment Hotline: 0800-39393

    Nighat Dad is specializing in the Cyber Harassment side of things. But for Non-Payment and Credit Card Fraud you do need a Lawyer here in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Saher

    No doubt, we are surrounded by men for whom women are only a source of entertainment and a means to fulfill their lust. And no wonder this person too is one of them. However I just have a small question for you Amira! The screenshot you posted is from Freelancer.com. If you were selected as the successful bidder on freelancer, he cannot choose not to pay. The website takes care that every worker is paid and I wonder why there arose the need of having Whatsapp/Facebook contact? The communication between service seller and buyer on Freelancer and the PMs there are enough to carry out and complete any project.Recommend

  • Cashiph

    Let the law decide the specialities, normally people use sims of one country in other regions also.Recommend

  • Hassaan Ali

    wow…..i am amzed by your courage..bravoRecommend

  • Pietro Mazzarol

    Did you actually understand what I wrote?Recommend