Pakistani singer and actor Ali Zafar who has also made quite a good mark in Bollywood industry has been accused of sexual harassment. Another Pakistani female singer named Meesha Shafi has alleged him for the crime through an open post on social media.
Meesha Shafi joined the ongoing #MeToo campaign and announced that even she has faced sexual harassment in Pakistani Industry. She said that, it’s difficult but she’ll not shy away from taking the name. Read her full post below-
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
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
The complete read as-
As a woman, a public figure and a mother, I have always felt strongly about using my voice to encourage and support our youth who look up to me, especially girls, who dream of carving their own path in Pakistan.
Throughout my career, my family and my fans have given me unconditional love and support and that has been a blessing. It has allowed me space to be brave and to often speak up about issues. 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 does not allow me to be silent anymore. if this can happen to someone like me, an established artist, then it can happen to any young woman and that concerns me gravely.
I have been subjected, on more than one occasion, to sexual harassment of a physical nature at 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.
No woman is ever safe from sexual harassment. In our society, we hesitate to speak up and choose to stay silent and this emboldens sexual harassment to flourish. We most collectively use our voices to share stories so that we break this culture of silence and so that young women today are safer.
It has been an extremely traumatic experience for me and my family. Ali is someone I have known for many years and someone who I have shared the stage with I feel betrayed by his behavior and his attitude and I know that I am not alone.
Today, I am breaking this culture of silence and I hope that by doing that I am setting an example for young women in my country to do the same. We only have our voices and the time has come to use them.
Reacting to the allegations, Ali Zafar took to Instagram and posted-
His letter read as-
I am deeply aware and in support of the global #MeToo movement and what it stands for. I am the father of a young girl and a young boy, a husband to a wife and a son to a mother. I am a man that has stood up for myself, my family, my colleagues and friends countless times in the face of slander, defamation and general unkindness. I will do the same today. I have nothing to hide. Silence is absolutely not an option.
I categorically deny any and all claims of harassment lodged against me by 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, contesting personal vendettas on social media and in turn disrespecting the movement, my family, the industry and my fans. Ultimately I am a strong believer that the truth, always prevails.