Singer/songwriter Meesha Shafi answered some burning questions in her first ever official interview with Shahzeb Khanzada. The sexual harassment suit that had been filed against Ali Zafar in April last year seems to have finally reached its climax. As a lot of discourse has been happening on media over the last few days, with some controversial statements, burning tears, and an ongoing legal battle, both the stars have finally started addressing the case out in the open.
In an exclusive interview on Geo News, Shafi claimed she tried to communicate matters privately till the very last day, before eventually letting it all out in the open. “I had blocked it out, I had moved on. I wasn’t planning on speaking out about it. Although, I did promise myself that I would not let myself in a vulnerable position like that ever again.” When asked about her approach to taking the Twitter route to let her story out instead of solving the matter personally, Shafi said “I tried my level best to solve this matter privately, not just for myself, I also thought about him and his family. I only spoke out when I realized that I should also think about myself.”
Talking about her decision to speak up about the matter after 4 months had passed, Shafi said that it was triggered by the fact that he was signing up on a project that she was a part of, and she had promised herself that she wouldn’t work with him after what had happened. “I told his representatives that I want to solve this matter behind closed doors. I made a request through his representatives, for him to step down from the project because I cannot work with him. I wanted us to go our separate ways.” Though, according to her, it was to no avail. In response to her request, she was asked to come and talk to Ali Zafar at his home.
When asked about her witnesses, Shafi said that “Whenever you confide in someone about what has happened with you, they are considered the witnesses according to the harassment laws.” She further reinforced, “Please remember that I am not the only one who has come up with the allegations against him, there were other people too. It isn’t only about me, I have to think about them too.”
She concluded her interview by talking about our legal system. “I think instead of putting the pressure to bring evidence on the victim, this should be the responsibility of our legal system. There is a reason that there is a separate forum for sexual harassment.” Shafi said, “I have been self-employed all my life, I am not anyone’s employee. The forum is not available for self-employed women, where should I go with my complaint?”
Shafi ended her interview by saying that the court hasn’t summoned her yet, and she will go when gets called.