LAHORE-Famous singer Meesha Shafi has accused pop singer Ali Zafar of sexual harassment on Thursday.
She took to twitter to share her story and said Ali Zafar subjected her to sexual harassment on more than one occasion.
In her statement posted on Twitter, the singer-cum-actor wrote, “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.”
Her tweet continued, “As a woman, a public figure and a mother, I have always felt strongly about using my voice to encourage and support our youth who look up to me especially girls, who dream of carving their own path in Pakistan. Despite having a voice, there are some issues that are very difficult to speak about as a woman, especially sexual harassment.”
“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. I have been subjected, on more than one occasion, to sexual harassment of a physical nature at the hands of a colleague from my industry: Ali Zafar. These incidences did not happen when I was young, or just entering the industry. This happened to me despite the fact that I am an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind! This happened to me as a mother of two children.”
Shafi who has featured prominently in Coke Studio further said, “It has been an extremely traumatic experience for me and my family. Ali is someone I have known for many years and someone who I have shared the stage with. I feel betrayed by his behaviour and his attitude and I know that I am not alone.”
“Today I am breaking this culture of silence and I hope that by doing that I am setting an example for young women in my country to do the same. We only have our voices and the time has come to use them.”
Later, Ali Zafar took to Instagram with his counter statement which read, “I am deeply aware and in support of the global #MeToo movement and what is stands for. I am the father of a young girl and a young boy, a husband of 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.
Ali Zafar added: “I categorically deny any and all claims of harassment lodged against me by Ms Shafi. 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. Ultimately I am strong believer that the truth, always prevails.”