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EntertainmentPak #MeToo: Singer Meesha Shafi accuses Ali Zafar of sexual harassment

Pak #MeToo: Singer Meesha Shafi accuses Ali Zafar of sexual harassment

Shafi, who belongs to a family of actors, dropped the bombshell on Twitter where she posted a lengthy statement

Karachi: In what is being called Pakistan’s #MeToo Movement, model, actor and Meesha Shafi has accused popular singer, actor and her colleague Ali Zafar of sexual harassment. Shafi said she had been subjected to sexual harassment “of a physical nature at the hands of a colleague” on more than one occasion.

Shafi, in a post on Twitter, spoke about breaking the culture of silence and being subjected to sexual harassment at the hands of Zafar “despite being an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind”.

“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,” she tweeted.

-actor Zafar, a well-known face in Bollywood, has “categorically denied all claims of harassment” and said that he “intends to take this through the courts of law”.

“I intend to take this through the courts of law… rather than to lodge any allegations here, contesting personal vendettas on social media, and in turn disrespecting the movement (#MeToo),” he wrote on Twitter.

The actor-singer, who has produced a number of successful tracks and acted in high profile films such as Mira Nair’s Reluctant Fundamentalist and Bollywood film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, said it has been a traumatic experience for her and her family.

He also said that he is deeply aware and in support of the global #MeeToo movement and what it stands for.

“I am the father of a young girl and a young boy, a husband to a wife and a son to a mother. I am a man that has stood up for myself, my family, my colleagues and friends countless times in the face of slander, defamation and general unkindness. I will do the same today. I have nothing to hide. Silence is absolutely not an option,” Zafar added.

Both the artists are popular names in India and Pakistan and have found much following due to their Coke Studio (Pakistan) outings and film work.

Lahore-based Shafi, a relatively unknown in Pakistan and India till 2010, stormed the music scene by becoming an online sensation with her famed Jugniji with folk Arif Lohar. She later starred in Mira Nair’s Reluctant Fundamentalist. Her subsequent Coke Studio performances in various seasons have made her a household name.

Zafar arrived in India at the back of Huqqa Pani, an album that found much success in the subcontinent. This was followed by Abhishek Singh’s satire Tere Bin Laden, Zafar acting role where he played a journalist. He was recently seen in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi.

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