Following actress-singer Meesha Shafi's disclosure, two more women have come forward with their stories of sexual harassment at the hands of Zafar.
Pakistan has its #MeToo moment as more women accuse Ali Zafar of sexual harassment
Mumbai - 20 Apr 2018 16:17 IST
Updated : 16:46 IST
Even as the Hindi film industry tiptoes around the issue of sexual harassment, the industry across the border seems to be having its own #MeToo movement. It began when Pakistani singer-actress Meesha Shafi accused Ali Zafar of sexual harassment. Zafar, who has been a part of Hindi films like Tere Bin Laden (2010), Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011), Kill Dil (2014) and Dear Zindagi (2016), is now being accused by two more women.
Zafar has denied the allegations made by Shafi, saying he will choose to fight the issue in court. In his statement, he said, "I categorically deny any and all claims of harassment lodged against me by Shafi."
However, the actor is now being accused of sexual harassment by two more women. Leena Ghani also took to Twitter to add to Shafi's accusation.
A make-up artist, Ghani wrote on Twitter that her cousin was also among the women who had been sexually harassed by Zafar.
Thank you @itsmeeshashafi for your courage and your bravery. It’s never easy. But that should never silence us. I am in total solidarity with you. You are not alone in this because #Metoo #TimesUp #WeBelieveYou pic.twitter.com/hkQ61bqnFH— Leena (@Leena_Ghani) April 19, 2018
She was joined by Maham Javaid, a blogger, who accused Zafar of trying to molest her cousin while they were on a yacht party. "So @itsmeeshashafi's brave sharing of her experience reminded me of a story about @AliZafarsays from many many years ago, when Ali Zafar tried to kiss my cousin and pull my cousin into a restroom with him," she said.
So @itsmeeshashafi's brave sharing of her experience reminded me of a story about @AliZafarsays from many many years ago, when Ali Zafar tried to kiss my cousin and pull my cousin into a restroom with him. Luckily my cousin's friends were there to push Ali Zafar off https://t.co/kBQbBiwyFP— Maham Javaid (@JMaham) April 19, 2018
This was on a boat on the way to a party at the Yacht Club between 2004-2005. Why don't I remember the date? Bc this is what's crazy: in those days such sexual harassment was such a non issue and simultaneously such a taboo that we hardly spoke about it— Maham Javaid (@JMaham) April 19, 2018
We didn't even think of telling anyone, apart from friends, or reporting him because "he's a celebrity, no one would possibly care or listen". And tbh over the years we forgot the story ourselves, until today. Thanks @itsmeeshashafi for reminding us that our stories matters— Maham Javaid (@JMaham) April 19, 2018
While the tweets received several encouraging responses, they also revealed other women who allege they had witnessed similar behaviour by Zafar in the past.
This is really sad. When he came to Washington DC for SK fundraiser, I had high school student volunteer crying in a bathroom bcos he molesyed her, women like you protect men like that and vulnerable kids pay the price; awful— Sofi (@seraphina444) April 19, 2018
The actor has so far denied the allegations, but the voices against him are growing.