Recently, the #MeToo movement has taken the Pakistani Industry by storm. Gone are the days when we used to listen to these stories by celebrities abroad, this movement is real and it’s happening now.
The storm first picked up in April 2018 when Khalid Bajwa, co-founder of Patari, was accused of being a sexual predator by a girl on Twitter. Subsequently, several females reported of him being responsible for making them uncomfortable and taking advantage of his influence. The social media campaign against him was so powerful that he was eventually asked to step down from his post as CEO of the music company.
Following this, the industry was hit by another major controversy when singer Meesha Shafi came out against artist Ali Zafar, accusing him of harassing her on multiple occasions. Ali Zafar vehemently denied this and vowed on Twitter that he intended to “take this through the courts of law”.
Zafar has continued to claim that the #MeToo movement has been misused against him and said,
“I was the target of a plan to launch the Metoo movement in Pakistan… All this was done as part of a bigger plan to launch herself into prominence and for other gains which will reveal themselves in time in the court of law.“
The two have been in an ugly legal battle ever since Shafi’s initial claim, and the case is still ongoing with no verdict being announced till date.
After this kick starter, the #MeToo movement has unveiled many famous personalities who have been allegedly abusing their power to harass females. The accusations have continued against influential online celebrities such as Junaid Akram, Ukhano and others.
The most recent controversy surrounds actor and singer, Mohsin Abbas Haider. On June 20th, Mohsin’s wife, Fatima, bared her story of domestic violence via a Facebook post, attaching her pictures as evidence.
She has since filed an FIR against him and received immense support from the fraternity including popular celebrities like Mahira Khan, Mehwish Hayat, Hania Amir and several others. All of them have spoken against Mohsin and encouraged Fatima to continue her battle against him.
In addition, Mohsin has also been fired from Dunya TV’s comedy show Mazaaq Raat. Not surprisingly, the artist has declared all his wife’s claims to be untrue and labeled it as an opportunity for her to play the ‘woman card’. It still remains to be seen what outcome is decided by the court, but one thing’s for sure: Mohsin Abbas Haider isn’t getting rid of this controversy anytime soon!
This plethora of stories is a clear indicator that women in Pakistan no longer intend to stay silent against oppression. #GirlPower, y’all!
However, the fact that most cases have lost their voice as time passes and the accused continue to get jobs in the industry without having to prove their innocence shows that we still have a long way to go.
We think it’s high time that the #MeToo movement is given its due attention by those with authority, so it doesn’t just fade away when there’s another hot topic trending on Twitter. Females in Pakistan need to be given a voice, and we are SO here for this movement to keep prevailing.
More power to you, ladies!