Meesha Shafi is suing Ali Zafar for defamation. She has sent him a legal notice demanding Rs2 billion in damages.
In a new twist to the case, Shafi’s legal team sent the actor-singer a legal notice on April 30. Her lawyer, Nighat Dad, shared a copy of the notice on her Twitter account.
The notice has been sent under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance, 2002.
“In a statement aired on Hum News on April 27 (a link of which you have posted on your Twitter account) you falsely claimed and published that our client is lying and has made false sexual harassment allegations against you just to get fame and recognition so as to get Canadian immigration,” read the notice.
Shafi’s legal team has also taken on Zafar’s assertions that Shafi cannot “become Malala” and get international recognition through the case.“In addition to the same, you have also claimed that our client wants to become Malala [Yousafzai], thereby implying that Malala also fabricated a false story like Meesha just to gain international recognition and immigration of a foreign country,” read the notice.
“Malala – the world’s youngest Nobel laureate is Pakistan’s pride and a source of inspiration to millions of young children, woman and men across the world. Your insinuation that her story was fabricated is an insult to a national hero,” it argued.
“You have also knowingly and falsely claimed/published that our client’s case against you has been dismissed by the ombudsperson against sexual harassment and that you have been exonerated from all charges of sexual harassment,” it read. Zafar claimed he had been exonerated, however, Dad had told SAMAA TV earlier that the sexual harassment case was dismissed on technical grounds, specifically because Zafar and Meesha did not have the relationship of an employee and employer. That doesn’t mean the court thinks Shafi is at fault or guilty, she explained.
The notice states that Shafi and the other women accusing Zafar of harassment have not spoken before the court or ombudsperson yet. The ombudsperson’s decision to dismiss the case has also been challenged in the Lahore High Court.
The notice says “false, malicious and defamatory and have been made to injure the reputation and goodwill of our client”. It also explained that Zafar’s claims that Shafi was doing all of this for Canadian immigration was “patently false” as she has been a Canadian resident since 2016.
It has called on Zafar to air and record on TV a “proper apology” within 15 days and pay the Rs2 billion otherwise legal proceedings will be initiated.