Momina Mustehsan asks Ali Zafar to apologise as allegations of sexual harassment grow

Momina Mustehsan asks Ali Zafar to apologise as allegations of sexual harassment grow

Momina has spoken up about Ali Zafar in a statement that's open to interpretation
20 Apr, 2018

A day after Meesha Shafi went public with accusations of harassment against Ali Zafar, celebrities have finally started speaking up about the allegations and the #MeToo movement.

One such celebrity is Momina Mustehsan, who this evening released a carefully worded statement on the matter that appears to leave much open to interpretation.

In a statement released on her social media accounts Mustehsan said: "I too have been a subject of harassment, and this issue is bigger than just Ali Zafar."

She continues: "This is about the relationship of trust that men take for granted with women. Very often, as we can see, women are violated by the very men they know, trust and often work with. Though harassment does not mean rape, it takes a lot to gather the courage to come out and say this, and it is my fervent hope that people will see that saying this is very difficult for any woman."

Addressing the victim-shaming that other women on social media have faced, she says: "I personally stand to lose much more than I will ever gain, BUT this cause is greater than any one man or woman. It's about humanity and dignity, about equality and honor. I pray that people will stand by women who have been violated and victimized."

"I have been reading one question frequently "why wait so long before saying anything?" and the answer to that is, It's because rather than shame the perpetrator, society at large tends to shame the victim. There is also immense social pressure to "not say anything", and keep matters like this private because some people may immediately question the woman's character, for their own defense, and drag women through courts and humiliate them, knowing fully well that it is impossible to prove cases of physical harassment, hence forcing some women to eventually have no option but to pull back their cases. This affects families, lives, careers, all of it."

"The question that you must ask, is "despite all of the above, why would a woman stand up and say such a thing? After all, it will only harm her." There's your answer. We are speaking because we have no choice. We don't have anyone else to speak for us. I ask you to please think of it from our point of view. Place yourself or someone from your family in our positions for a moment, and you will immediately know what we are feeling, and have been feeling, for years. In all humility, I BEG all of you to please become our support system. Help us rise."

"I stand by all the women who have had to deal with inappropriate behavior of any sort. It's time Pakistani women are able to stand up and hold their oppressors accountable, no matter how strong or influential they are. Don’t be scared. They are strong because we are weak - lets change that. Speak up, stand up. Call a spade a spade. And it's definitely time Pakistani men stood up for our women."

"I hope all the men reading this agree that harassment of any form is NOT OKAY."

She then directly addresses Ali Zafar, saying: "BUT I would want to ask @AliZafarSays one question: do you think you have EVER, knowingly or unknowingly, violated a woman in any way or form? If you have - because no one is an angel - I request you to acknowledge your fault, apologize unconditionally, learn from the mistakes, and become a better human being."

Mustehsan's star skyrocketed in the Pakistani entertainment scene after her appearance on Coke Studio. Since then, she been vocal about issues like women's empowerment, sometimes drawing criticism for her statements, sometimes praise. With over one million followers on Instagram and over 500,000 followers on Twitter, Mustehsan is easily one of Pakistan's most avidly followed celebrities.

Images has reached out to Mustehsan for a comment on the matter.


hot aunty Apr 20, 2018 09:10pm
he should apologise. In fact his statement was missing an apology...sounded more like a guilty man.
Must learn Apr 20, 2018 10:05pm
It's too much please stop it . Today Ali Zafar is on peak of famous , honor. A natural habit or phenomenon of jealousy cannot be ruled out. In a most decent rebuttal Ali Zafar has denied the allegation of Meesha, had Meesha true, Ali may have apologized, why Meesha took so long to blame the celebrity Ali when he's on peak of acceptance. It looks likes frustrations or jealousy on some other matter, atleast not on harassment. And astounding now Momina Mustehsan also gate crash in the saga to gain her part of news in media, others some more may pour in to discredit the heroic Ali Zafar, after all joining their names in linkage to Ali is a source of being vastly known. Plz stop it.
Pakamat Apr 20, 2018 10:15pm
In a society that glorifies misogyny and harassment, it is refreshing to see women now standing up and speaking out especially against powerful men, in the entertainment or any industry. This is a World wide issue and it wouldn't go away even under the threat of legal action against such women. When big sponsors start withdrawing because of the bad publicity then the alleged perpetrators will realize that their behavior is unacceptable. I think it's about time the typical story line in some movies/dramas also gets away from the 'stalker' being shown up as the ideal romantic male lead.
SaeedS Apr 20, 2018 10:17pm
Go girl!
Sam Apr 20, 2018 10:50pm
Is harassment a joke? Will saying sorry be sufficient? Will sorry be the appropriate action in our society and the world at large. I believe there must be punishment by the court of law to be in prison for atleast two years along with a duty of grinding wheat in the prison. Acts of harassment are itolerable. They portrait the inequalities in the societies and genders. Also a fine be imposed. #Metoo #Women #PayForYourSins
M. Saeed Apr 20, 2018 11:24pm
Mustehsan is absolutely right. To own one's mistake demands a huge courage but also essential to go back a little, say sorry with open heart, correct the path from where lost way and adopt the correct path, leaving all the bad memories behind. So gather your will power, take the corrective actions bravely, repent and live your life ahead.
Malik Apr 20, 2018 11:53pm
Nothing against #Metoo movement or women but maybe it's high time to define what one considers a sexual harassment in Pakistani culture? For some women a hand shake might be considered as a form of harassment whereas for some a hug with a male friend or colleague might be considered a normal thing. Women of every culture and society might have a different definition and limits. But the strong women of Pakistan like Meesha and Momna can actually come forward and define it so that everything is clear as black and white. And I can assure you that it won't be an easy task because even in Pakistan, women from different background have different limits and boundaries. A strong woman like Meesha instead of just creating a media buzz should take another step and explain exactly what was done by ALi. Maybe this could be the starting point in defining it. Everyone knows what a rape is but sexual harassment can easily be misunderstood by the victims, followers and the accused.
Ijaz Apr 21, 2018 12:16am
Getting harassed is part of portfolio in motion pictures companies. Live with it or leave it.
Syed Anjum Ali Apr 21, 2018 12:22am
I frankly think that a media trial is taking place against Ali Zafar. All media should stop reporting this matter until it has been legally investigated and tried and decided on.
NPower Apr 21, 2018 02:20am
Harassment is not justified at all but it doesn’t mean that any one can start blaming any one without proof. There should be punishment if the so called victim is proven wrong as this can damage the reputation and career.
Amjad Durrani Engineer USA Apr 21, 2018 02:42am
I salute to you Ms Mustehsan for standing up and saying loudly against this gender based sexual harassment.Believe me your very honest, candid and brave statement,may not appease many suffering from male chauvinism,but all those who have families and their daughters and sisters are out working in any such environment where they can be in the harm's way,will support for the reason that it is going to give them a voice.For sure they will not be intimidated by cultural taboos and fear for physical harm by the fast and furious types after coming across such unpleasant and degrading behavior by those they trust.This is a real game changer and these sexual predators wearing fancy clothes and manicured facelifts will no more be free to commit these acts with impunity. Living here for decades when,looking back,I find no solace by reading that how we are treating our women in workplaces,may they be educated or not,makes no difference at all.Change is creeping in because of people like you.
Zak Apr 21, 2018 03:22am
In a new changing Pakistan, every issue is coming out. Only this way can it be addressed, corrected and the acceptable path becomes the norm.
Amir Apr 21, 2018 04:17am
This should be settled in a court. I love both artists. I donot want to jump on conclusions or accused any of them.
Cool boy Apr 21, 2018 07:36am
Reporting should have been on first instance. Seems she enjoyed it multiple times and then then when she might have got angry with Ali on some issue or the other she disclosed it to the world at large. I stand by her side. But she has let many of us down by not reporting it in the first instance. I still support Meesha better late than never. Ali should be fined and sent to jail. #MeToo
Socrates Apr 21, 2018 08:03am
Sorry to hear all this but why do all these affected ladies continue to work with Ali Zafar and stayed mum so long? Why?
Hasan Apr 21, 2018 09:23am
Apology is not enough. He should be banned for sometime.
Sound Voice Apr 21, 2018 09:23am
Apologize for what? He has denied any wrongdoing. Asking for an apology would make sense only if he had admitted to committing what he has been accused of.
Irfan_Sydney Apr 21, 2018 10:08am
In Pakistani society good looking actors, cricketers and politician have special place in people's heart. They seldom get punished. Ali Zafar will also escape any punishment and will be forgiven by the public because of his look.
Jaffar Apr 21, 2018 10:40am
Act like this won't stop no matter what confesses individual make. I think Problem lies within our attitude or style or behavior either male or female. So its time to rise our standard/level .
Ahmad Gul Apr 21, 2018 11:27am
What wonders me is that who would define harassment. I second her point but it's time to define this term, getting more hype once one gets accused of it.this loose term needs to be defined. Sending friend request to patient as Doctor sent friend request on Facebook to Sharmeen Chinoy's sister that led him losing job when Chinoy made a statement on Twitter . This is crucial as every person needs to get right of justifying his conduct and if this case is thoroughly investigated , it would pave the way to make a new journey that helps the policy makers and jurists define This term. The problem is that line is so blurred that has caused more damage to societal norms. Ali Xafar needs to prove himself wrong or Meeshaa Shafi has to knock the Door of court.
Rubina Apr 21, 2018 12:13pm
Well said Momina; males can never understand this unless they themselves become a woman and become a victim of harassment.. Ours is a male dominated society and majority of the men are striving to give logical explanations for their personal chauvinistic views. They are trying to twist facts to justify themselves and are criticizing Meesh instead of reprimanding Ali Zafar.
amrikan Apr 21, 2018 05:09pm
FIA should investigate this.
salman Apr 21, 2018 05:26pm
We stand by our women. May the offender face the music.
Syeda Apr 23, 2018 01:30am
@Malik that's the most pathetic thing to expect ANY woman to "explain" how she was "sexually harassed". You cant be serious. Would you have asked the exact question from your sister too if she had faced harassment. Will it be okay for you to hear from your sister how exactly she was humiliated?? Did you even think about it before posting? Just think about it once.
Nasir Askar Apr 23, 2018 10:29am
Momina Mustehsan, perhaps you need to use the pea brain in your head. Just because you are famous does not mean to give judgements. What should Ali Zafar apologize for. Allegations which have not yet been proved.
Jawaid Islam Apr 23, 2018 10:57am
I feel something fishy here; Ali's first Pakistani venture is complete, looks astounding, and I believe there is some foul play here by competition. Why did Meesha choose such a time?
SIAK Apr 25, 2018 05:56pm
I think men also get sexually harassed by women...but women always claim it...