KARACHI: Karachi-based marketing executive of an online fashion portal, Noor E Sehar on Tuesday became one of the many women who came forward with claims of sexual harassment at the hands of the singer, Ali Zafar.
Although, Zafar had responded by announcing to pursue the case in court and things were mostly quiet.
But in lieu of Meesha Shafi, a number of women have shared their own experiences with Zafar. Noor E Seher’s revelation of being subjected to repeated unwanted advances by Zafar in Lahore last year is the latest shock being faced by the whole nation. During an interview with Cutacut, she alleges that the incident took place in Lahore in 2017.
Sharing this because I believe that by speaking out about my own experience of sexual harassment, I will break the culture of silence that permeates through our society. It is not easy to speak out.. but it is harder to stay silent. My conscience will not allow it anymore #MeToo pic.twitter.com/iwex7e1NLZ
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) April 19, 2018
Noor, due to the nature of her job, attends industry events regularly and elaborated on one particular encounter with Zafar during a party that a famous fashion designer had thrown.
“It was a party in Lahore, I went to it with my friend. Ali Zafar came in a little later into the night and I noticed that he kept looking at me for some time. Eventually, he came up to me and tried to strike a conversation. I’m normally very shy so I wasn’t really responding much. He kept trying to talk for a really long time, would leave and then come back. But as time went by, he kept trying to get close to me. It was a party and the music was loud so he kept closing in on me, talking to me in my ear and forcefully holding my hands and touching them in a weird manner. I told him three times, literally my words were, “I’m not interested”. I think I said the same to him two more times, that I’m not interested, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Towards the end of the night, he invited me to another singer’s house. Of course, I didn’t go,” said Noor.
In reply to a question about why she chose to tell her story now, Noor said that she has been vocal about it on a personal level.
“To be honest, I haven’t been hiding this incident, I’ve spoken to my friends about it. I never spoke about it publicly because I never really found the right platform. Regarding the backlash, I haven’t really thought about it. But the reason why I’m speaking up now, is because I don’t want to regret not speaking later.”
Ali Zafar has by now been accused multiple times by different women. The matter is expected to be sorted out in court.