The growth of the film industry is on war footings in Pakistan. The country has seen the revolution in the Lollywood after the promulgation of private channels, in the reign of Parvez Musharaf. Owing to the rapid progress of showbiz many people came under the limelight. Meesha Shafi and Ali Zafar are on them.
Ali Zafar was born on May 18, 1980. He is a popular songwriter, actor, model, painter, screenwriter and a producer. Besides, Ali Zafar started his music career in Pakistani and became extremely famous. Later on, Ali started out his career as an actor in Bollywood. Besides, Ali Zafar has won five Lux Style Awards and a nomination in Filmfare Awards.
Meesha Shafi was born on December 1, 1981. She is a prominent Pakistani model, singer and an actress. Meesha joined the modelling sector at the age of 17. She appeared in the music video of Jawad Ahmed in the song “Bin Teray Kya Hai Jeena”. She debuted in 2006 in a serial “Muhabbat Khawab Ki Soorat”, which was aired on Hum TV.
A vicious battle between the two stars
In April 2018, the singer Meesha Shafi accused Ali Zafar of sexually harassing her. Shafi in a tweet said, “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.”
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
“Ali is someone I have known for many years and someone I have shared a stage with. I feel betrayed by his behaviour and his attitude and I know that I am not alone,” Meesha added.
This aroused a tremendous debate in the showbiz industry of Pakistan. In support of Meesha Shafi’s tweet, Urwa Hocane along with few other notable female stars of Pakistani industry upheld Meesha Shafi for the brave step that she took.
Nevertheless, In a tweet, Ali Zafar rejected all statements against him. The fabulous actor said, “I categorically deny any and all claims of harassment lodged against me by Ms Shafi.”
— Ali Zafar (@AliZafarsays) April 19, 2018
Subsequently, in 2018, Zafar’s counsel sent defamation notice of Rs 1 billion to the artist Meesha Shafi.
In the notice, Zafar has urged Meesha Shafi to remove her tweet, which is maligning him, and apologise for her words. Furthermore, Meesha Shafi should pay Rs 1 billion to Ali Zafar, if she fails to apologise.
In a conversation with a private paper, the attorney of Meesha Shafi stated, “We have received the notice and are examining its contents. The contents of Meesha’s statements with regard to Ali Zafar are based in truth, and therefore we dispel this notice.”
Afterwards, the lawyer of Shafi directed Ali Zafar to apologise for harassing the vocalist, Meesha Shafi.
In an interview, Meesha narrated how and why she opened up about Ali Zafar in the following words
“The first and foremost reason [for breaking silence] is that I’m ready. I have started talking to people and divulging my experience. I’m finding it hard on my conscience to stay silent any longer than this because I’m seeing such brave girls and women speaking up – not just around the world – but here as well. It’s not easy. They are not public figures and I think it can be harder for me, in a way, but it’s hard for everyone. The more I think about it, the more I realise that if I don’t go public, nothing will change. It was eating away at me.”
Shafi’s is the granddaughter of Hamid Akhtar- a fictionist, a newspaper columnist and editors of multiple Urdu newspaper, such as Imroz and Nawa-e-Waqt. Meesha resides in Lahore and got married in 2008. Her husband Mahmood Rahman is a musician and she has two children.
The exotic star Meesha Shafi described the whole incident in an interview, saying
“The first time it happened, I didn’t react. Women who feel that that’s inappropriate and speak-up and feel harassed, that is absolutely their right and not to take away anything from them in any way but it was more than that and that people need to know”
“I told my husband but also asked him to not react; I’m a public figure and so is he [Ali Zafar]. My thought process was who I am and who he is and what that’s going to lead to. Being ready to talk was far off because it had just happened. I buried it.”
In 2019, the attorney of Shafi’s did not appear in the hearings the defamation case filed by Ali Zafar, following which session court fined Meesha Shafi with Rs10,000. Ali Zafar the singer and actor urged Meesha Shafi to come to the court as Meesha’s case against Ali was dismissed.
Ali on twitter said, “Meesha Shafi’s case against me has been dismissed alongside the appeal made against the dismissal. The case in the court is my case against her to pay for damages that her false statement has caused me, which naturally she is trying to run away from.”
Additionally, Ali Zafar asked Meesha Shafi to resolve the matter. Ali cried on a live T.V channel while narrating, “The language used by her [Meesha’s] lawyer for me, is that the language used by a lawyer? She claims to be a human rights activist, but does anyone say that about someone’s family?”