Telephone harassment is a serious issue in Pakistan, it can range from unwanted phone calls, to threatening messages and can cause significant distress to the victim. It’s a violation of an individual’s privacy and can have a negative impact on one’s mental and emotional well-being. The government of Pakistan has taken steps to combat this problem by creating laws and organizations such as the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) that are responsible for investigating and prosecuting cybercrime, including telephone harassment.
However, it’s important for individuals to take action as well by documenting the problem, blocking the number, filing a complaint with the FIA, PTA, or the police, and seeking legal advice. It’s crucial to stay calm and composed, and never hesitate to seek help if you feel threatened or harassed. There are legal measures that can be taken to deal with this problem. In this article, we will discuss how to deal with telephone harassment legally in Pakistan.
1# Document the Problem
The first step in dealing with telephone harassment is to document the problem. Keep a record of the phone number, the date, and the time of the call, as well as the content of the conversation. Listed below are some measures you can take to document the issue:
- Keep track of any phone calls and text messages that the harasser sends you. This should contain the phone number, date, and time of the call or message, along with the conversation’s substance.
- Save any voicemails and text messages you receive, if possible. This will provide further proof of the harassment.
- Monitor the frequency of calls and text messages. This will allow you to determine whether the harassment is getting worse or occurring more frequently.
- If the individual is threatening you or if you feel frightened, it is essential to capture these threats as well.
- Take screenshots of any harassing social media remarks or texts.
- Keep the documents and proof in a secure location from where you can quickly get them when you need to report the issue to the authorities.
Remember that documenting the problem will provide you with a clear and complete record of the harassment you are experiencing, which will be useful when reporting the issue to the authorities. Stay calm and never be afraid to ask for help if you feel threatened or bothered.
2# Block the Number
Once you have documented the problem, the next step is to block the number. Most phone companies in Pakistan offer the option of blocking unwanted calls and messages. This will prevent the person from contacting you again. It’s important to keep in mind that if the person uses different phone numbers to contact you, you will have to block them individually.
Here are some steps that you can take to block a number:
- Contact your mobile service provider. Most mobile service providers in Pakistan offer the option of blocking unwanted calls and messages. You can contact your service provider and ask them to block the number for you.
- Use built-in blocking features on your phone. Many smartphones have built-in blocking features that allow you to block numbers. You can find these features in your phone’s settings or by searching for them in your phone’s manual.
- Download a blocking app. There are various blocking apps available for both Android and iOS devices. These apps allow you to block numbers and also provide additional features such as the ability to block text messages, calls, and even calls from private numbers.
- Be aware that if the person uses different phone numbers to contact you, you will have to block them individually.
It’s important to note that blocking a number will not solve the problem on its own, but it can help to prevent further harassment. Remember that you have the right to be protected from harassment and to take steps to ensure your safety.
3# File a Complaint with FIA
Another option is to file a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan. The FIA is responsible for investigating and prosecuting cybercrime, and they have the authority to take legal action against those who engage in mobile harassment. Here are some steps that you can take to file a complaint with the FIA:
- Gather evidence of the harassment: Before filing a complaint, it’s important to gather evidence of the harassment. This includes records of phone calls, text messages, and voicemails.
- Locate the nearest FIA Cybercrime Reporting Center: You can find the nearest FIA Cybercrime Reporting Center by visiting the FIA’s website or by contacting their customer service.
- Fill out the complaint form: Once you are at the Cybercrime Reporting Center, you will be asked to fill out a complaint form. Be sure to provide all the necessary information, including the phone number of the person who is harassing you and any evidence that you have gathered.
- Provide a written statement: You will be required to provide a written statement describing the harassment that you have faced. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible, including the date, time, and content of the calls and messages.
- Submit the complaint: Once you have completed the complaint form and provided a written statement, submit the complaint to the FIA.
- Follow up: The FIA will investigate the complaint and take appropriate action. You can follow up with the FIA on the status of your complaint, but it’s important to keep in mind that the process may take some time.
4# File a Complaint with PTA
You can also file a complaint with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). The PTA is responsible for regulating the telecommunications industry in Pakistan, and they have the authority to take legal action against those who engage in telephone harassment. You can file a complaint online or in person at the PTA office.
5# Contact the Police
Finally, if the harassment is severe or if you feel threatened, you should contact the police. The police have the authority to investigate and arrest those who engage in telephone harassment. It’s important to note that it may take some time for legal action to be taken, but by taking the steps outlined above, you can take control of the situation and protect yourself from further harassment.
Telephone harassment is a serious problem in Pakistan, but there are legal measures that can be taken to deal with it. By documenting the problem, blocking the number, filing a complaint with the FIA, PTA, or the police, and seeking legal advice, you can take control of the situation and protect yourself from further harassment. Remember to stay calm and composed, and never hesitate to seek help if you feel threatened or harassed.
Muhammad Usman Awan is a Blogger and Social Entrepreneur who founded first Anti Harassment Awareness Campaign “Stop Harassment Now”. The Purpose of this campaign is to empower and educate our Girls and Working Women against Harassment.