Meesha Shafi accuses Ali Zafar of sexual harassment, Ali Zafar denies allegation
Pakistan’s top musician Ali Zafar has denied all the allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him by fellow Pakistani singer Meesha Shafi.
“I categorically deny any and all claims of harassment lodged against me by Ms Shafi” Ali Zafar said in a tweet on Thursday evening.
Rejecting all the claims made my Shafi, Zafar said “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”.
— Ali Zafar (@AliZafarsays) April 19, 2018
Earlier on Twitter, Pakistani model and singer Meesha Shafi made a shocking revelation by accusing her colleague and singer Ali Zafar of sexual harassment.
“Today, I speak up because my conscience does not allow me to be silent anymore,” said Meesha in her statement. “If this can happen to someone like me, an established artist, then it can happen to any young woman hoping to break into the industry and that concerns me gravely.”
In a detailed note on her social media account, Meesha explained 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
Reaction on Twitter:
The revelation sparked a debate on social media where Pakistani Twitterati expressed shock over the disclosure by Ms. Shafi, with many praising her on her courageous move.
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
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
Patari, the music-streaming startup which recently faced a high-profile sexual harassment case which led to the resignation of their ex-CEO last week, also tweeted in support of Mesha Shafi:
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