As soon as Pakistani singer Meesha Shafi came out on public platform with sexual harassment allegations against Ali Zafar, many more women have accused the latter of same. It seems Ms Shafi’s revelations have started a Me Too movement in Pakistan. Meesha revealed the shocking episode of sexual harassment and also told how difficult it was for to share the story. She also stressed that it’s important for women to break the culture of maintaining silence on sexual misconduct.
Meesha Shafi’s revelations have certainly empowered many other women who came out with similar allegations against Ali Zafar on Twitter. The accusers offered their support to Shafi sharing saying that she’s not the only one he has harassed.
On the other hand, Ali Zafar, who’s a renowned celebrity in Pakistan, refuted all the claims against him and said that he intends to take this through the courts of law.
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
After Meesha Shafi’s post, make-up artist Leena Ghani also lauded her for speaking up against a renowned celebrity. She said, “In the many years I have known Ali, he has on several occasions crossed boundaries of what is appropriate behaviour between friends.”
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
Journalist Maham Javaid also joined in to share the story of her cousin’s encounter with Ali. She accused the singer of trying to forcibly kiss her cousin and pull her into a restroom with him.
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
This was on a boat on the way to a party at the Yacht Club between 2004-2005. Why don't I remember the date? Bc this is what's crazy: in those days such sexual harassment was such a non issue and simultaneously such a taboo that we hardly spoke about it— Maham Javaid (@JMaham) April 19, 2018
We didn't even think of telling anyone, apart from friends, or reporting him because "he's a celebrity, no one would possibly care or listen". And tbh over the years we forgot the story ourselves, until today. Thanks @itsmeeshashafi for reminding us that our stories matters— Maham Javaid (@JMaham) April 19, 2018
Blogger Humna Raza shared a full-fledged post, narrating a sexual misconduct encounter with Ali Zafar during an event.
Meanwhile, Ali Zafar refused to have knowledge of any of such incidents. He 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".