LAHORE: A woman, believed to be the childhood friend of singer Meesha Shafi, on Thursday recorded her statement before a sessions court seized with a defamation suit moved by actor/singer Ali Zafar and refuted the allegation of sexual harassment leveled by the former against the latter.
“I know Meesha Shafi since grade-VII,” said Sara Razee in her oral and written statement, adding that she also knew Ali Zafar for almost 20 years.
Ms Razee narrated her account before the court of Zafar’s spouse Ayesha Fazli’s birthday which was included as one of the incidents by Ms Shafi later on.
“I didn’t notice anything out of order. Meesha was very normal with Ali Zafar and in fact she was sitting at his piano,” the witness said.
She also gave details of an event where Ms Shafi’s meeting with Mr Zafar (after the alleged incident of harassment) at Hassan Shaheryar Yaseen (HSY) party in February 2018.
“I remember meeting Meesha with Ali and distinctly remember this night because of two reasons, one Meesha was wearing an interesting dress attire, secondly we were upstairs at HSY’s house and there was a sofa bench splitting his lounge into two. There were people on both sides of this bench. I remember distinctly Meesha to cross over this bench to meet Ali,” the witnessed said in her statement.
The statement further said, “I was startled because the normal way to meet somebody was to go around the room and say ‘hello’. However, Meesha decided to jump over the bench in excitement of seeing Ali. I did not notice any reservation on Meesha’s part towards Ali.”
Two more prosecution witnesses namely Ammar Akhlas and Yousaf Aqeel were also present in the court, however, their testimonies were put on hold as senior counsel from the legal team Ms Shafi was not available.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Amjad Ali Shah adjourned hearing for Sept 8 when Ms Razee will also be cross examined by the defendant’s side.
As many 13 witnesses have so far testified in favour of Mr Zafar, including three women and Ms Shafi’s former manager Rizwan.
Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2019