Pakistani actress Meesha Shafi has accused actor Ali Zafar of sexual harassment. The singer-cum-actress has shared her ordeal on Twitter and said that she mustered courage to talk now as "her conscience doesn't allow her to stay silent."
"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 [sic]," she tweeted.
Meesha claims that the incident has been "extremely traumatic" and hopes that by sharing her story of sexual harassment, she will inspire others to come forward and speak.
Here is the shocking post by Meesha:
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.
Throughout my career, my family and my fans have given me unconditional love and support and that has been a blessing. It has allowed me space to be brave and to often speak up about issues. However, despite having a voice, there are some issues that are very difficult to speak about as a woman, especially sexual harassment.
Today. I speak up because my conscience does not allow me to be silent anymore. If this can happen to someone like me, an established artist, then it can happen to any young woman 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.
No woman is ever safe from sexual harassment. In our society, we hesitate to speak up and choose to stay silent and this emboldens sexual harassment to flourish. We most collectively use our voices to share stories so that we break this culture of silence and so that young women today are safer.
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 behavior 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.
While some of the fans praised Meesha, some expressed deep shock at the serious allegations against the Pakistani actor. There has not been any response from Ali till the time the story was filed.
This statement from Meesha came at a time when India is witnessing a massive outrage against a series of rape incidents. The most talked about incident being the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua.