In a development that is sure to send shockwaves around the Pakistani showbiz industry, singer-cum-actress Meesha Shafi came forward today to reveal that she had allegedly been a victim of sexual harassment at the hands of another major showbiz personality.
She proceeded by claiming that her harasser was none other than a fellow superstar, Ali Zafar.
In a detailed note over her social media account, Meesha recounted the reasons why she had step forward with her experience:
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
Meesha Shafi, who is the 36-year-old mother of two children, stated that it was time that she shared her story so that the culture of silence regarding sexual harassment ends and more women are inspired by her example to step forward.
As expected, Pakistani Twitterati have a lot to say about the recent disclosure by Mrs. Shafi, with many throwing their support behind her and applauding her courage in naming and shaming her harasser:
The face of the entertainment industry is so cosmetic. #AliZafar is not only popular/successful, he's been regular star for ages. We've all known him since Kollege Jeans. #MeeshaShafi has taken on a giant. Let's see if this sparks a big movement for us. #MeToo
— Mahwash Ajaz (@mahwashajaz_) April 19, 2018
About Ali Zafar, who himself is a showbiz superstar, Mrs. Shafi had this to say:
“Ali is someone I have known for many years and someone I shared the stage with. I feel betrayed by his behaviour and his attitude and I know that I am not alone.”
As @AliZafarsays has never been scandalise throughout his career, so u must be damm sure about wht u r saying about superstar of Pak, and if he’s done so than he must have explanations and ready to be charged as he let down his fans and nation being Role model of our youth 😒🤲🏿
— NadeeM AbbaS (@iamnadubhatti) April 19, 2018
— Zofeen Ebrahim (@zofeen28) April 19, 2018
Remember that #MeeshaShafi could tell her story because she is privileged in certain ways: she's married, has strong family support, is an established artist.
If it's difficult for her to speak out imagine what a younger, greener artist has to face?
— Hamna Zubair (@hamnazubair) April 19, 2018
Cool. Real world example. Lets see if anything happens to Ali Zafar.
— Ali H. Abbasi (@themaholupper) April 19, 2018
Ye dunia jhooti log luteray, never knew Ali zafar was describing himself.
— عُمر (@Keyb0ardMujahid) April 19, 2018
one thing is for sure, Ali Zafar will give his side of the story sitting in front of a piano.
— Ahmed (@azkhawaja1) April 19, 2018
I just read about it. Holy Smokes! Mad respect to her for speaking out. I hope… Pray… More will speak up after this. 🙏
— Riz (@rizwanfarooq) April 19, 2018
Patari, the music-streaming startup which recently faced a high-profile sexual harassment case with their ex-CEO last week, tweeted in support of Mesha Shafi as well:
This is a sobering moment for our industry & given recent events we don’t wish to speak out of turn. But Patari extends its support to @itsmeeshashafi for her courage and bravery. Speaking out is never easy & we hope that these discussions lead to justice & safer spaces for all.
— Patari (@patarimusic) April 19, 2018
There are some people who think otherwise regarding this development:
Just in 30 minutes #MeeshaShafi gained followers on twitter from 30k to 90k.
I rest my case.
— Yasser (@29ys1) April 19, 2018
Kindly do not react on one sided story, i mean Ali Zafar has never been scandalize throughout his career how can u all believe on those feminist. I repeat in pakistan that's not feminist this is "Hame be hayai karne do" so pls wait for the evidence before judging. @AliZafarsays
— happyn't (@MeriSunlo) April 19, 2018
Meesha Shafi doesn't seem to be the kind of woman who would make such a huge claim of sexual harassment against a fellow renowned artist just for more fame. Better to hear both sides of the story before crucifying Ali Zafar but this is just painful and sad. Nobody is safe.
— Faisal (@OneAndOnlyCFC) April 19, 2018
And once again you all lost your mind after listening to that one side of story without even knowing what actually happened the other side, pause your judgemental asses for a while and wait for Ali zafar to come up with his side of story
— Izma. (@IzmaSiddiqi) April 19, 2018
Reportedly, after Meesha went public with her experience, Ali Zafar was asked to comment on the accusations that were levied against him. For the time being, Ali Zafar has responded that he does not wish to talk about this development right now.
Hours after Meesha’s accusations went online, Ali Zafar has replied with a tweet of his own. He mentions that he will take the matter to courts over how Meesha has defamed him.
— Ali Zafar (@AliZafarsays) April 19, 2018
This is a developing story. More details will be added as they become available.