Recently, Pakistani singer Meesha Shafi told the world that she has been sexually harassed by Ali Zafar, a renowned Pakistani singer, actor and songwriter. This came as a huge shock for everyone not only because it was the first time that a Pakistani celebrity had come forward in support of the #MeToo movement but also because Ali Zafar is an established name in the entertainment industry.
Ali Zafar has given many hit songs to India and acted in a few Bollywood films as well such as ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’, ‘Chashme Baddoor’ and ‘Dear Zindagi’. Meesha Shafi, who is another big name in Pakistan’s entertainment industry is seen as a woman who is strong, bold and empowered.
Telling the world that despite being a celebrity and a brave woman, even she hasn’t been spared from sexual harassment, Meesha revealed her story in a tweet. Take a look at what she tweeted 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 pic.twitter.com/iwex7e1NLZAdvertisement
— Meesha Shafi (@itsmeeshashafi) April 19, 2018
Reacting to Meesha’s allegation, Zafar had denied all claims of harassment made by her saying that he supports #MeToo movement and intends to take the claims of harassment by Meesha Shafi to the court of law. Take a look at his statement in the tweet below:
— Ali Zafar (@AliZafarsays) April 19, 2018
However, soon after Meesha spoke up against Zafar, a number of other women shared their horrific stories of being abused by the actor-singer, unaffected by the fact that Zafar had denied Meesha’s accusations. Check out the tweets by other women alleging that Zafar abused them sexually:
So @itsmeeshashafi‘s brave sharing of her experience reminded me of a story about @AliZafarsays from many many years ago, when Ali Zafar tried to kiss my cousin and pull my cousin into a restroom with him. Luckily my cousin’s friends were there to push Ali Zafar off https://t.co/kBQbBiwyFP
— Maham Javaid (@JMaham) April 19, 2018
— Humna Raza (@HumnaRaza) April 19, 2018
Thank you @itsmeeshashafi for your courage and your bravery. It’s never easy. But that should never silence us. I am in total solidarity with you. You are not alone in this because #Metoo #TimesUp #WeBelieveYou pic.twitter.com/hkQ61bqnFH
— Leena (@Leena_Ghani) April 19, 2018
And here is how Twitter responded to the allegations made by these women:
Oh yay.and yes I also witnessed Ali Zafar trying to kiss Zeba begum and dragging her into his car. Year was 1978.
— Mineeha Naqvi (@mineeha_me) April 19, 2018
Madam Meesha is going through a difficult time and taking a tough stand. Many might have gone through this before and this might bring up all the skeletons in his closet
— Seeba Jamal (@SeebaJamal1) April 19, 2018
It is very brave of you to share your experience. We need to keep our privilege – as celebrities, as men – firmly in check. I am so sorry you were disrespected in this way.
— Osman Khalid Butt (@aClockworkObi) April 19, 2018
Stay strong Leena! Brave if you to speak up!
— so_bizarre (@hukka_bukka) April 20, 2018
I know exactly what its like to be groped and grabbed agaisnt your https://t.co/VZN3KlCWyw are in shock and numb,scared to say anything especially if it was from someone you https://t.co/S9bph94Pkm Ali Z. Did this im sure.
— Laura Hampton (@laurali46) April 21, 2018
There has been a lot of buzzes around casting couch and sexual harassment in the entertainment industry of India but these accusations highlight the fact that even entertainment industry of Pakistan is not spared from this disgust!