Meesha Shafi Alleges Ali Zafar Sexually Harassed Her Multiple Times; He Vows to Take Legal Action
In a shocking revelation, Pakistani singer Meesha Shafi has accused her colleague and popular singer Ali Zafar of sexually harassing her on more than one occasion.
File photos of Meesha Shafi and Ali Zafar.
After taking down heavyweights of Hollywood, the revolutionary MeToo campaign has reached Pakistan where actor and singer Meesha Shafi has accused her colleague and popular singer Ali Zafar of sexual harassment. Hoping that her experience will empower other women to stand up for themselves and speak about such encounters, the actor took to Twitter to share an elaborate post accusing Zafar of sexually harassing her on more than one occasion.
Zafar, on his part, denied the allegations and said that silence is not an option and he will take a legal course to counter Shafi's charges against him.
"Sharing this because I believe that by speaking out about my own experience of sexual harassment, I will break the culture of silence that permeates through our society. It is not easy to speak out.. but it is harder to stay silent. My conscience will not allow it anymore #MeToo," she wrote alongside the post.
Sharing this because I believe that by speaking out about my own experience of sexual harassment, I will break the culture of silence that permeates through our society. It is not easy to speak out.. but it is harder to stay silent. My conscience will not allow it anymore #MeToo pic.twitter.com/iwex7e1NLZ
— Meesha Shafi (@itsmeeshashafi) April 19, 2018
She writes, "Throughout my career, my family and fans have given me unconditional support... However, despite having a voice there are some issues that are very difficult to speak about as a woman, especially sexual harassment. Today I speak up because my conscience doesn't allow me to be silent anymore. If this can happen to someone like me, an established artist, it can happen to any young woman and that concerns me."
She further alleges that she has faced sexual harassment in the industry and shared that the incidents happened to her despite holding a strong position in the industry. She wrote, "I have been subjected, on more than one occasions, to sexual harassment of a physical nature a the hands of a colleague from my industry: Ali Zafar. These incidences did not happen when I was young or just entering the industry. This happened to me despite the fact that I am an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind! This happened to me as a mother of two children!"
The singer admits that the experience has been traumatic for her and her family as Ali is someone she has known for many years and has shared the stage with. "I feel betrayed by his behaviour and his attitude and I know that I am not alone," she added.
Pakistani heartthrob Ali Zafar wrote in a Twitter post, "I categorically deny any and all claims of Ms Shafi. I intend to take this through the courts of law and to address this professionally and seriously, rather than to lodge any allegations here..."
Shafi, however, hopes that by sharing her experience, she is "breaking the culture of silence and setting an example for young women in Pakistan to do the same."
"We only have our voices and the time has come to use them," she concluded.
Shafi is known for popular Coke Studio Pakistan songs including Aaya Laariye and Bhole Bhaley.
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