Responding to a news report alleging Ali Zafar of requesting music streaming service Patari to move the placement of a song by Meesha Shafi’s brother, both Patari co-founder Faisal Sherjan and the singer-turned-actor rejected the claims, terming them incorrect and misleading.
The aforementioned news story claimed that a source within Patari shared a screenshot of an internal communication within the company that refers to a request allegedly made by Ali Zafar to change the placement of a track listed at the top of Patari’s ‘new releases’ list. The track is a collaboration between Faris Shafi, Meesha Shafi’s brother, and Ali Sethi.
“Ali Zafar did not at any time speak to nor reach out to Patari, directly or indirectly for any kind of forced placement of his music for his film as suggested by the story above. This is an absolutely false and misleading narrative,” said Ali Zafar’s legal counsel Barrister Ambreen Qureshi.
She further said that the news story presented “‘facts’ to use them to build a narrative that may seem to people as Ali Zafar responsible for sending out such a message or him/his team having such a conversation when it was never actually had.”
Qureshi stressed that the Patari employee, who’s screenshot was considered as ‘evidence’ of influencing, had only been in communication with the independent music license company responsible for Teefa in Trouble’s music distribution in Pakistan, who in their own right, like any distribution company, have all the right to ask for a fair positioning of content.
It was argued that the article is incorrect as it left out “the more popular/known artist Ali Sethi whose song it is equally.”
The legal counsel also cited that statement of Sherjan who clarified that “the said employee has neither spoken to Ali, nor his communications team nor his management team all of whom represent Ali Zafar officially.”
“Such placement was never asked for at the cost of anyone else’s content being compromised. I confirm that there was never any written or verbal conversation whereby a member of Ali’s team or Ali Zafar himself asked us to remove another artist’s songs or show favour to his music over that of another artist,” Sherjan added.
Ali Zafar’s counsel announced that their team will lodge “a private complaint with the said publication’s website,” urging the media “to show more caution and balance in what they present as evidence and fact.”
In a Twitter post, Meesha Shafi had alleged her colleague Ali Zafar of sexually harassing her multiple times to which the latter had filed a defamation suit against the former.