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Accused of sexual harassment, Ali Zafar has support of women now

Ali Zafar is a well known face in Pakistan and India. In Bollywood, he has worked in films like Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Tere Bin Laden.

bollywood Updated: Apr 23, 2018 17:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ali Zafar,Pakistan,Sexual harassment
Ali Zafar is a Pakistani musician and actor who was accused of sexual harassment by a leading artiste.

Pakistani actor and singer Ali Zafar is in the middle of a raging controversy right now. He has been accused by a fellow musician and many other women of inappropriate touching, vulgar behaviour and sexual harassment.

Ali Zafar has denied all the allegations. He wrote on social media, “He wrote, “I categorically deny any and all claims of harassment lodged against me by Ms *****. 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 vendetta on social media and in turn disrespecting the movement, my family, the industry and fans. Ultimately, I am a strong believer that the truth, always prevails.”

Read: More women accuse Ali Zafar of groping, forcibly kissing them

Now, Ali Zafar has the support of two women who have worked with him in the past. One of them wrote on Instagram, “So as the stories taking turn every minute regard Ali Zafar, ****** &#metoo movement, I think as a musician and a woman I should talk about this issue as I was SHOCKED right now with this article of ******. She said that her conscious doesn’t allow her to say quiet so mine also doesn’t allow me. As I am the part of concert crew, I travel intl and locally with Ali Zafar, and I have seen girls throwing themselves at him and his gentlemanly response to that which is so rare of any rockstar. balkay we all travel like friends and we work in a very comfy environment.”

The writer is a member in Ali Zafar’s team. She further writes, “Today finally ****** tells us what she says happened to her that Ali harassed her at a jam or did something wrong to her and I cannot stay quiet. I was at this jam session becoz I sing in Ali’s band and so was her manager and our entire band. I am astonished that she would take a lie to this level which so many of us can prove wrong. We all have pictures, we were there and event manager was there and it was a gr8 jam session. I am a woman and I would never allow wrong to any woman. But come on , it’s a serious matter and we should be really clear on everything rather then putting accusations on people and then saying sorry you cannot question any woman it’s wrong.”

Read: Afreen Afreen singer Momina Mustehsan urges Ali Zafar to apologise

Another woman, who says she has been professionally associated with Ali Zafar for three years, has also written about the incident. She says, “I stand witness to this particular ‘Jam’ late last year that ****** mentions in her interview with The News. The whole house band along with myself and another fellow female vocalist were present during this session and whatever interaction took place between the two was in front of at least 10 other people. All I can say is that this particular statement that she makes here is rather odd. I have toured with the Ali Zafar band a lot of times and all my trips have been really pleasant and professional.”

After a widespread #MeToo campaign in Hollywood, Ali Zafar was the first big Pakistani celebrity to be named and shamed for alleged sexual harassment, but with women coming openly in support of Ali Zafar, there would be apprehensions cast on the success of the movement in South East Asia.

First Published: Apr 23, 2018 15:14 IST