LAHORE: Ever since Meesha Shafi publicly accused Ali Zafar of sexual harassment, there has been little else, the entertainment industry has been able to talk about. Members of the film fraternity have come forward with their voices, either in support of Shafi or in support of Ali or just to request people to reserve their judgments before any substantial conclusion on the issue.
Sanam Saeed, who is a vocal activist of female empowerment, finally broke the silence on the issue. However, she did not take any names or any sides. In a note posted to her Twitter account, Saeed wrote: “She did it…she spoke up…she broke the silence. Good on her and every single person who is speaking up.”
“For the rest of you passing judgment, take a few minutes to consider that it doesn’t take an evil person, non-family person or an overtly, sleazy, ill-mannered person to cross the line. It can be a good friend, relative, colleague, boss, family person, “decent” person – successful, loved and admired persons who falter,” she added.
— Sanam Saeed (@sanammodysaeed) April 27, 2018
She remarked that the “tide is changing” all over the world and the time is over for such behaviour before adding that sexual harassment is not only restricted to a physical act. It is also associated with “inappropriate, flirtatious comments,” and that “it doesn’t flatter, it wounds.”
Sanam further wrote, “Essentially, the victim is keeping the aggressors dignity, allowing them to get away with it and try their luck elsewhere. Making this all the more reason to #speakup and break the cycle. No matter when you choose to #speakup, regardless of minutes, days, weeks or years. Feel at ease that you have shared your truth.”
“Not to hurt and avenge but to stand up against injustice, to take your power back and protect anyone else that might find themselves in such a situation.”
On an ending note, Saeed requested the perpetrators to own up and apologise in case they have ever crossed the line.
Last week, Meesha Shafi took to Twitter and accused colleague and singer-actor Ali Zafar of sexual harassment.
Meesha, who is an example of a strong, empowered woman, known to speak her mind has alleged that Zafar has harassed her on “more than one occasion,” adding that, “These incidences did not happen when I was young, or just entering the industry. This happened to me despite the fact that I am an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind! This happened to me as a mother of two children.
On April 19, Ali Zafar issued a statement to refute the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him.
He said, “I categorically deny any and all claims of harassment lodged against me by Ms Shafi.”
Furthermore, Zafar also sent a 10million rupees defamation notice to Shafi asking her to retract her accusations and publicly apologise or prove it in a court of law.