Ahsan Khan, Adnan Malik and Iffat Omar speak up on Meesha-Ali issue

Former model Iffat Omar lends support to Meesha

Web Desk
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Pakistani actors Ahsan Khan and Adnan Malik and former model Iffat Omar have spoken up about Meesha Shafi’s sexual harassment allegations against Ali Zafar.

The first high profile #MeToo accusation in the country has received a divided response with some celebrities lending support to Meesha and others vouching for Ali’s “good character”.

Some members of the local entertainment industry have also tackled those making light of the issue and slandering Meesha for speaking up.

Actor Ahsan Khan stressed sexual harassment allegations “should never be taken lightly and made the subject of jokes, gossip and casual conversation.”

“Sexual harassment is a very serious matter,” he wrote on Facebook.

“I pray and hope that truth will prevail in the matter of Meesha Shafi and Ali Zafar and that the innocent party will not be hurt. Let us all take a breath, sit back and let the law take its course. We must have faith in our legal system. Section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code is capable of handling the matter. More importantly, God is fair. He will ensure a fair outcome. Gossip, slander and chatter can only hurt. Let us refrain from doing that and conduct ourselves with dignity, grace and responsibility,” the Udaari actor further said.

Actor Adnan Malik, whose film Cake released recently, took to Twitter to define sexual harassment.

“Harassment, sexual harassment and even bullying have long been accepted norms in a patriarchal Pakistan, where alpha, hetro-normative men have dominated the public space. The best thing that has happened in the last few days is that there is finally awareness of and a debate around what defines ‘harassment’ and ‘sexual harassment’. What so many men (and women who have internalized patriarchy) might begin to realise is that some of their behavior towards women is no longer permissible,” Malik wrote.

He added, “In my opinion, if a woman feels physically unsafe or emotionally uncomfortable by the behavior and/ or actions of a man, it can be deemed as harassment.”

“I’m not passing final judgment on the latest #MeToo scenario, but will say one thing affirmatively: all men (and women) must first understand what sexual harassment is, and have a clear definition of it for themselves. We have for too long internalized a skewed, male-driven view of the world, manipulated blurry lines towards our personal bias and this is a good opportunity to realign our personal bias and this is a good opportunity to realign our personal and societal values towards a more equal treatment of gender,” the actor further said.

Meanwhile, former model Iffat Omar lent support to Meesha.

“I have to address the elephant in the room. It’s not easy for me because I know both of them and both are from highly respectable families.I read Meesha’s accusation multiple times and then I saw Ali’s reply. My analysis is simply based on facts.”

“Meesha is a superstar who is really successful, and earns as much as the male stars in this country. She is educated, a perfect wife, and a super mom. She is young and extremely beautiful. So why would she do this if she was not hurt? Many people are claiming that she is doing this for fame or money? Hain? She already has more than enough of both. Ali’s argument is that he is a son, father and husband.. Well so are some of the world’s worst killers, rapists, frauds etc only if this could stop men,” she said.

On Thursday, Meesha posted on Twitter, accusing Ali of physically harassing her on "more than one occasion".

"This happened to me despite the fact I am an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind!" read the statement.

Ali denied the accusations, threatening legal action against the actress.

"I intend to take this through the courts of law, and to address this professionally and seriously rather than to lodge any accusations here," he wrote on Twitter.