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Meesha Shafi shares details of Ali Zafar's alleged harassment in court

05 Jan, 2022
Meesha Shafi says she spoke up about the incident as she wanted to help herself when no one else would help her. SOURCE: Instagram / Ali Zafar / Meesha Shafi
Meesha Shafi says she spoke up about the incident as she wanted to help herself when no one else would help her. SOURCE: Instagram / Ali Zafar / Meesha Shafi

Singer Meesha Shafi was subjected to hours of cross examination on Monday and Tuesday as part of the defamation suit filed against her by singer Ali Zafar.

Shafi appeared before Lahore Additional District and Sessions Judge Khan Mahmood, where she was asked to recall the details of the alleged harassment incident for which she had filed a case against Zafar in 2018.

Zafar had denied the charges and filed a defamation suit against the singer.

During the first session of her cross-examination on Monday, Shafi revealed she decided to go public with the matter after it “became clear that the matter was not being resolved privately.” The singer added that acknowledgment from Zafar would have helped her feel safe and she could commit to her work.

Speaking about the tweet in which she accused Zafar of sexual harassment the first time, Shafi said she wanted to help herself as no one else would help her.

According to Dawn.com, Shafi insisted that Zafar had not faced any financial losses due to her allegations against him. Instead, things have only been better for him financially and repute wise, she told the court.

She said that Zafar enjoyed record-breaking revenue at the release of his film ‘Teefa in Trouble’ and he was also awarded accolades and awards by the industry and the government.

The first session of cross-examination was adjourned by till Tuesday.

When the second session of cross-examination of Shafi commenced, she called Zafar’s actions “needless and uncalled for as the plaintiff and I have never shared any affectionate dynamics.”

A report by Voicepk.net says that after being questioned by Zafar’s counsel for details of the alleged harassment incident, Shafi said she didn’t want to go over the minutiae of that evening. “I tried very hard to forget it. However, the feeling that an incident - where one has been violated physically - leaves is hard to forget.”

The plaintiff’s counsel then changed the direction of the questioning, according to Voice PK, and moved it toward a WhatsApp message Shafi had sent in a group chat with Zafar and event organizer Jalal.

The message read, “All thanks to you Jalal. Had a great time jamming and performing. Hectic but memorable. And so grateful for the kind words Ali had to say on stage. Now on to the next one.”

The counsel asked why, if she was harassed at that jamming session, did she have such positive words to say about the plaintiff in the message. To this, Shafi replied that she sent the message as a “courtesy and matter of habit".

Moreover, Zafar's counsel asked Shafi to produce tangible evidence against him instead of relying on anecdotes of harassment by other women.

“Many women shared their experiences and to the best of my knowledge, a victim’s experience is their evidence”, said Shafi.