A Pakistani singer on Thursday accused musician and actor Ali Zafar of sexual harassment. She took to Twitter to allege that Zafar continued to harass her even after she became an accomplished name in the industry.
“Today, I speak up because my conscience does not allow me to be silent anymore,” said the woman. “If this can happen to someone like me, an established artist, then it can happen to any young woman hoping to break into the industry and that concerns me gravely.”
She encouraged others who have faced sexual harassment to speak up. “As parents, we tell our children to speak up if somebody touches them inappropriately and that it is never their fault,” she said. “So why is it this hard to do the same? One shouldn’t have to be this brave to report sexual misconduct. I’ve had support around me, I consider myself an empowered woman, and I still had such a hard time with this decision. By speaking up I hope I’m able to break this chain of hesitation that holds us back from speaking up.”
Zafar denied the allegation and said he would move court instead of “contesting personal vendetta on social media”. In his response, the actor wrote: “I intend to take this through the courts of law and to address this professionally and seriously rather than to lodge any allegations here, contesting personal vendettas on social media and in turn disrespecting the [#MeToo] movement, my family, the industry and my fans.”
Apart from being a popular name in Pakistan, Zafar has also featured in a number of Bollywood films such as Tere Bin Laden and Kill Dil.