After Pakistani singer-cum-actress Meesha Shafi accused actor Ali Zafar of sexual harassment, singer Momina Mustehsan has also spoken about her unpleasant experiences, and in the process, threw a big question at Ali.
In a long post on social media, Momina asked Ali if he had ever "knowingly or unknowingly, violated a woman in any way or form", and if affirmative, requested him to apologize.
The Pakistani singer said that she too had been subject to harassment by men with whom she had a relationship of trust. Below is the text she posted:
"I too have been a subject of harassment, and this issue is bigger than just that of Ali Zafar.
This is about the relationship of trust that men take for granted with women. Very often, as we can see, women are violated by the very men they know, trust and often work with. It takes a lot to gather the courage to come out and say this, and it is my fervent hope that people will see that saying this is very difficult for any woman. I personally stand to lose more than I can gain, BUT this cause is greater than any one man or woman. It's about humanity and dignity, about equality and honor. I pray that people will stand by women who have been violated and victimized.
I have been reading one question frequently "why wait so long before saying anything?" and the answer to that is, It's because rather than shame the perpetrator, society at large tends to shame the victim. There is also immense social pressure to "not say anything", and keep matters like this private because some people may immediately question the woman's character, for their own defense, and drag women through courts and humiliate them, knowing fully well that it is impossible to prove cases of physical harassment, hence forcing some women to eventually have no option but to pull back their cases. This affects families, lives, careers, all of it.
The question that you must ask, is "despite all of the above, why would a woman stand up and say such a thing? After all, it will only harm her." There's your answer. We are speaking because we have no choice. We don't have anyone else to speak for us. I ask you to please think of it from our point of view. Place yourself or someone from your family in our positions for a moment, and you will immediately know what we are feeling, and have been feeling, for years. In all humility, I BEG all of you to please become our support system. Help us rise.
I stand by all the women who have had to deal with inappropriate behavior of any sort. It's time Pakistani women are able to stand up and hold their oppressors accountable, no matter how strong or influential they are. Don't be scared. They are strong because we are weak - lets change that. Speak up, stand up. Call a spade a spade. And it's definitely time Pakistani men stood up for our women.
I hope all the men reading this agree that harassment of any form is NOT OKAY.
BUT I would want to ask @AliZafarSays and all other men one question: do you think you have EVER, knowingly or unknowingly, violated a woman in any way or form? If you have (no one is an angel) I request you to acknowledge your fault, apologize unconditionally, learn from the mistakes, and become a better human beings. [sic]."
Earlier, Meesha had made a long post on Twitter, alleging that Ali had sexually harassed her on multiple occasions. The actor had later denied the allegations and had stated that he would take up the issue legally.