KARACHI: Singer Meesha Shafi says she had a detailed meeting with Ali Zafar’s representatives before going public with sexual harassment allegations against the actor last year.
The singer said this on Geo News show “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath” on Monday, her first television appearance since the filing of harassment and defamation cases with the court. Meesha said she wished to resolve the matter privately, as she did not want to work further with Ali Zafar, and that she had communicated this “privately through representatives in a very clear manner”.
“I was trying my best not to let this come out. I had given them the message that I do not want a controversy of any kind, and that I do not want this to come out in public,” she said. “I have tried my level to sort the issue privately behind closed doors. But I didn’t get any breakthrough.”
She said she gave the message that she did not want to work with Ali Zafar, but got the response that Meesha should visit him at his residence to talk about it. Meesha further said she was asked what she would do if there was an apology. She said she sent her response to theapology offer, but that Zafar went back to his request for her to meet him at his residence and never told how the issue would be resolved.
“During those four months after the incident, I did not speak about it, as I had blocked it out. I was not thinking about it, nor was I thinking about how or when to talk about it,” she said. “I had made a promise to myself that, after what I had experienced firsthand, I would not put myself in such a situation where I would feel vulnerable like this.”
Responding to performing on stage together with Zafar, Meesha said it was the idea of the concert organisers and that she did it on their insistence. “It was part of the agreement as per the professional contract,” she said. Meesha said she had a number of witnesses with her who were willing to record their statement in the court.
“As per the harassment laws, the witnesses’ testimony is taken as evidence,” she said. “I will appear before the court whenever it summons me,” she maintained. Her statement comes in response to singer Ali Zafar’s allegation that a social media campaign has been launched against him on Meesha’s behest.
Speaking in Geo News’ show Naya Pakistan, Zafar alleged that the paid accounts had been tasked by Meesha to tag companies who have hired Zafar along with the United Nations’ agencies so that his career can be ended. Zafar alleged that Shafi wants to immigrate to Canada but he does not know why she made the harassment allegations in the first place.
In response to Ali, the programme’s host Shahzad Iqbal highlighted that Meesha Shafi’s Canadian PR had been approved in 2016. “I don’t know why she is doing this… one should ask her. She should come to the court herself and reveal her true intentions,” said Zafar.