Pakistani singer Meesha Shafi in a social media post last evening confessed to being sexually harassed by singer and actor Ali Zafar. Meesha is a popular name in Pakistan with a number of hit tracks, while her Coke Studio performances have made her a household name in India as well. The singer has acted in Mira Nair’s Reluctant Fundamentalist and was also seen in a small role as a professional swimmer in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
Ali, who has also celebrated success on Coke Studio, is a colleague from the industry and the experience of physical harassment has left her and her family disturbed, the mother of two wrote in the letter she posted online.
The #MeToo movement has spread like wildfire globally and Meesha too talks about it in her 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,” read Meesha’s post.
In the letter, the singer said that she is speaking up to encourage other women to stand up against sexual harassment. It happened to her despite being an empowered and established woman in the industry, so she expressed grave concerns about the safety of girls.
Read the full text of her letter here:
This is the first time that a celebrity in Pakistan has been publicly accused of sexual misconduct. We can give some credit to the #MeToo movement that started in the West after Harvey Weinstein was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, which empowered women all over the world to speak up. Ali Zafar mentioned that he supports the movement, but the actor-singer denied all claims made by the singer in his social media post.
Ali Zafar became an active part of Bollywood with movies like Tere Bin Laden, London Paris New York, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Kill Dill and recently, Dear Zindagi. He has a huge fan following in Pakistan and India. The accusations have started a war of words on Twitter, but we’re waiting for the law to make a judgment on the matter.
After Meesha’s post opening up about the harassment, many other women have taken to Twitter to disclose their encounters with Ali Zafar and no, they aren’t pleasant.
Blogger Humna Raza shared the story as a fan, journalist Maham Javaid as a spectator and many others came forward with their incidents.
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