The incident that has everyone talking, the fallout between Meesha Shafi and Ali Zafar, keeps on delivering. From allegations to self-defense, from people taking sides to coming out with their own stories, the #MeToo hashtag in Pakistan has literally seen it all.
A week after the initial incident, the internet still remains divided, as both parties keep bringing ‘supporters’ forward, who might protect or malign the other’s reputation. Another breakthrough in the incident came after Meesha Shafi’s former manager, Fahad Rehman, decided to present his two cents on the case.
Fahad Rehman wrote on his Instagram account, how he faced a similar ‘blackmailing’ incident at the hands of Ms. Shafi in 2008-2009. This is what he wrote:
“I have known both Meesha and Ali for a very long time. Before both were even famous. I’ve seen their stardom grow over the course of almost 2 decades. I have had the misfortune of working with Meesha. Other than her terrible temper and tantrums, on one occasion, i was blackmailed by her 5 minutes before a show to give up my share of the commission my agency was making, otherwise she will not perform. After returning from the trip back to Pakistan and firing her as a client, i was made aware that Meesha was telling friends and colleagues that i stole her performance fee. A few other incidents occurred that I don’t wish to get into but you get the gist. This was 2008-9.
Now I don’t know what happened between Ali and her, but what i do know is that she has the capability to blackmail and malign ones reputation. Without hard evidence, i would take everything she says with a ton of salt.”
As hurtful as his words must be to Meesha Shafi, the hashtags he gave below the post, especially that of #CryingWolf, must have been salt to Ms. Shafi’s wounds. His opinion and take on the incident seems rather clear, that he believes Meesha is maligning Ali Zafar’s reputation for some sort of personal gain, or maybe just her vindictive nature.
The incident, however, has showcased the country that cases of harassment will not be taken lightly by the general public, nor the celebrities. The #MeToo movement has proven that women will not take harassment lightly in the country anymore and indeed, it is a step in the right direction.