News of journalist Wajahat Kazmi’s indiscretion with a former employee made news yesterday. A correspondent for Dawn and Samaa TV, Mr. Kazmi was caught up in a scandal revolving a freelance writer he hired for “viral content writing and social media management”. The said Egyptian freelance writer, who goes by the name of Amirah Hashim, later wrote a blog post for a reputable Pakistani publication outing the sexual nature of her correspondence with Mr. Kazmi.
“If you’re working as a freelance writer, you are bound to meet and work with people belonging to different cultures and mentalities”,
Amirah writes as she pens down the uncomfortable details behind her working relationship with Wajahat. She wrote extensively about the project, how Wajahat not only refused to pay her for her work but also crossed a line of professionalism by proposing that she sex chat with him if she wants the payment in full and wants to be compensated handsomely, over and above.
The screenshots used in the blog were an amalgamation of their interaction on various social media mediums, including messages shared over Facebook inbox and WhatsApp.
We reached out to Wajahat Kazmi for his comments on the said matter and were surprised to unravel a completely different version of the story:
“She did this because she plagiarized content and then still wanted the money. Though I repeatedly warned her against publishing copy/pasted articles. According to Freelancer terms, if the freelancer fails to meet the quality standard then the client is not bound to pay her – That is the sole purpose of Escrow payments.”
Amirah shared in her blogpost how Wajahat Kazmi did not seem to have much feedback regarding the project and how everything was going smoothly.
Contrary to this claim, Kazmi provides a set of screenshots that show how the writer actually plagiarized the content, which is why the payment was out of question.
Post this confrontation and the refusal to process payment, Mr. Kazmi states Amirah turned hostile.
Further elaborating on the matter, Wajahat claims the writer resorted to blackmail.
“Then, in order to gain the attention of media, she gave it a new color. Here (in the screenshot) she is threatening me when I canceled her project on Freelancer (stating) that she will make my future hell.”
Wajahat also shared an email exchange between the two where one can see the conversation that sides with his narrative.
Many also found Wajahat’s digital conduct past this blog going public extremely “fishy”.
One section of journalists busy establishing that WajahatKazmi is not a journalist, the other section is busy counting his Twitter followers
— Naila Inayat (@nailainayat) December 6, 2016
He soon deactivated his public profiles from Facebook and Twitter, leaving his fans and followers dumb-founded.
People also took this as him being frantic, cementing his ‘guilt’. He responded to the doubts with this status update:
Which still didn’t explain much, tbh.
So Wajahat Kazmi claims he was getting his car fixed when he heard the allegations. Doesn't explain why he deactivated his account?
— Shoaib Taimur (@shobz) December 6, 2016
This is a classic case of “he said, she said”
We reached out to experts for their analysis of the screenshots provided by Wajahat so as to verify their legitimacy and judge whether they have been doctored. As such, there is no way to be certain whether screenshots have been manipulated. With proof surfacing from both sides, there is a dearth of conviction on which party is at fault. Is Wajahat Kazmi truly capable of such a disgusting and equally air-headed maneuver in the age of technology, digital footprint and well, screenshots? Is Amirah Hashim, happily married, mother of three, really the mastermind behind this twisted scheme of blackmail and public maligning?
We’ll let you be the judge but here’s a fair warning for anyone who ever thinks sleazy:
Let this #WajahatKazmi saga be a silent reminder k aap ki tharak kisi na kisi din samnay ajayegi. Keep it in your pants or get it cut off.
— Fariha Awan (@Fay_Alif) December 6, 2016