Singer Meesha Shafi, in her first television appearance since filing a sexual harassment case against fellow artist Ali Zafar, has said that she never wanted to report her sexual harassment case.
“I never wanted it to come out in public. I also tried my level best to sort the issue privately,” said Shafi on Shahzeb Khanzada’s talk show on Geo on Monday night.
She remarked that it wasn’t until she had a discussion about harassment with her children that she realised that she had to take an action against her own ordeal.
“The reason I didn’t speak for four months after the second incident in December 2017 was because I had blocked it out and I had moved on.”
“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,” said Shafi.
“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. I also tried my level best to sort the issue privately, behind closed doors.”
However, the model-turned-singer shared her tale of struggle and continued that even after she came out with her story on social media, nothing really happened. “I was humiliated, I was demeaned. It frustrated me that nothing happened. When someone like me, who’s in a position to speak out, shared her story, it didn’t make a difference. So, I was taken back to the same thought that why should I speak out?”
She said that she wasn’t the only to be harassed by Zafar. “It wasn’t just me, there are other women who have faced similar behaviour by the same person.”
Shafi also retaliated that it wasn’t just Ali Zafar who has been through a rough year but she had faced severe backlash too.
“When I came out with my story, I knew the repercussions I was going to face. There was slander, there was character assassination,” said Shafi. “I was under a lot of pressure but you won’t see me crying about it.”
However she also clarified the vivid rumor that she is evading the hearings and called out the hashtag #FaceTheCourtMeeshaShafi, maintaining that contrary to the perception being built, she has not yet been summoned by the court.
“I will appear before the court whenever it summons me,” concluded Shafi.
She also raised concerns over how the harassment law doesn’t apply for the self-employed women.