December 18th, 2021
By Rehan Piracha
Actor-singer Meesha Shafi on Saturday, December 18, said victims of sexual harassment required great courage and support for victims to come forward with their experiences after attending hearing of a case in which she is accused of launching an online smear campaign against Ali Zafar.
The singer said the court cases arising out of the sexual harassment accusations against fellow singer Ali Zafar have been adversely impacting her career.
“We are human beings in spite of the fact of our depiction as larger than life figures on media,” she told reporters outside the courtroom after attending a hearing in the criminal case. Shafi, Iffat Omar and seven others are accused of running a social media smear campaign against Ali Zafar under the cybercrime law.
“Such issues affect not only one’s career but also affect your personal life and health,” Shafi said.
Asad Jamal, counsel for Shafi, told Voicepk.net that he pleaded that the court should frame charges in the case and conduct a day-to-day hearing. Shafi’s counsel contended that the entire charge sheet in the case was unlawful.
He said the application for Shafi’s exemption from personal had been pending before the court since March. During the previous hearing, the court had set December 18 to decide the application of personal appearance but it could not as Ali Zafar’s counsel requested an adjournment, Jamal said.
The court asked Shafi’s counsel to refile the application for exemption of his client’s personal appearance. The counsel told the court that the application has been re-submitted.
The counsel argued that his client had a legal right to be excused from personal appearance in the court. In the application, the counsel pointed out that Shafi had to leave his two children and husband behind in Canada to attend the court hearings in Lahore. She has been in Pakistan for the past few weeks so that her request for exemption be heard and granted during her presence in Lahore before returning to her family in Canada, the counsel said.
The court asked counsels to present their arguments on the application for exemption of personal appearance on the next hearing on January 7.
Apart from this criminal case, Ali Zafar has also filed a defamation suit against Shafi in a local court.