The State of Pakistan announced Pride Of Performance Award for internationally famed singer and actor Ali Zafar. While Zafar was congratulated and celebrated by all of his peers in the industry including various officeholders in Pakistan, some sections on social media objected stating that since he had been “accused” in a harassment case filed by Meesha Shafi on him two years ago therefore he is still an ‘alleged harasser’ therefore does not deserve the award.
However, the reality of the case between Ali Zafar and Meesha Shafi tells something else. For all intents and purposes, Mr Ali Zafar is not accountable to any court of law for any of the allegations that Ms Shafi had levelled against him on 19 April 2018 via her Twitter account. Quite on the contrary, it is Ms Shafi who has to appear before court for inquiry needed in the defamation case Zafar filed against her just after the accusatory tweet by singer.
Background of the Allegations
Meesha Shafi on April 19, 2018, in a post on her official twitter account accused Ali Zafar of sexual harassment to which Ali, on April 25, filed a defamation suit against Meesha of Rs1 billion in lower courts under the Defamation Ordinance 2002. As court proceedings went on in the defamation case, Mr. Zafar told the courts in his testimony, “Meesha had threatened him to ‘back off the Pepsi contract’ otherwise she would accuse him of harassment.” Mr. Zafar also said that he had reached out to her to speak if he had done anything untoward her and he would apologize but Meesha had not agreed to do this.
The legal status of Meesha Shafi’s Case Against Ali Zafar
Meesha’s lawyers had informed the media that the singer had filed a complaint against Zafar with the ombudsman under the sexual harassment at workplace ordinance 2010 on April 30 2018, claiming an employer-employee relationship with him. The Ombudsman rejected the complaint stating that matter did not fall under sexual harassment at the workplace as Meesha was hired independently and she was not bound by any formal contract.
Lahore High Court’s Verdict
Meesha’s legal team then took the matter to the Governor Punjab but in July, it was dismissed by the Governor on the same grounds upholding the decision of the Ombudsperson. After that Meesha appealed in Lahore High Court against Governor Punjab’s decision that rejected her plea against Ali Zafar. The High Court also terminated her case October last year after the ombudsman and the Governor saying that they were continuously trying to present her as his employee which was not true.
Though she has filed for appeal in Supreme Court but the Supreme Court still has to decide whether the appeal is worthy of hearing. Attached are some pages from a 34 page Lahore High Court verdict dismissing her case in favour of Ali Zafar.
Absence Of Meesha Shafi In Courts
It has also been noticed that during the period of more than two years, since the hearings started; Meesha Shafi has still not appeared in the case against her for her cross examination. She is currently in Canada. The case that should have ended within three months has been stretched to two years because Meesha Shafi has failed to appear before the courts as required by the legal procedures.
But What Exactly Happened?
Meesha Shafi stated that she was harassed during a jamming session. Among many eye witnesses during the hearings regarding this, it also includes two women who were present at the session. They have testified in favour of Zafar recording their evidence on oath that no such things did or could happen as they were all in near proximity.
One of the witnesses Aqsa Ali, posted on her social media in May 2019 that, “I was an integral part of the jamming session and there was no harassment or misconduct from anyone, Sab nay jam kiya (we all jammed) and then we went home.”
The other female witness Kanza Munir said in a social media post, “I stand witness to this particular ‘jam’ late last year that Meesha 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.”
There are seven other witnesses who stated that nothing of the sort happened.
Defamation Suit case Against Meesha Shafi
Meesha also filed for protection charges of Rs two billion against Ali Zafar in September last year for damaging her reputation and mental health as a result of levelling several false allegations by Zafar. However, it has also been given a stay by the court as that case cannot be heard until Zafar’s case of defamation is not decided.
Other Multiple Cases Against Ms Meesha Shafi
Ali Zafar’s legal team has filed many other case of civil and criminal in nature against Meesha Shafi and her accomplices who tried to defame Zafar on social media. Zafar claims all these accounts, including many fake accounts, were created to drive a narrative against him.
One of the accounts was made in early 2018 and was threatening his manager Taha Sadaqat that his client (Ali Zafar) would be dragged in court for harassment.
Zafar’s team has provided all proof to the FIA and the case is pending with its cybercrime branch.
What Cyber Crime Laws Say About Defamation on Social Media?
It is pertinent to be mentioned that Cyber Crime Laws state that, “whoever intentionally and publicly displays any information through any system which he knows to be false and intimidates or harms the reputation or privacy of a natural person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to one million rupees or with both”.
Are There Any Cases Against Ali Zafar?
As of now there is NO case against Zafar at the moment of any kind, rather there are cases against Meesha Shafi by Zafar alleging her to pay Rs 1 billion for damages that her false statement has caused him.
In Conversation with Dr. Shahzad of Dental Aesthetics
Doctor Shahzad of Dental Aesthetics is one of the best dentists in Lahore who aims to provide his patients’ solutions with minimum invasive dentistry for the best possible results. Doctor Shahzad Mirza did his master’s in Aesthetic Dentistry from Kings College London and his father who was also a dentist was the dean of Fatima Memorial Hospital, founded this business. Working in the field for more than four decades has made their dental clinic equipped with world-class trained specialists, leading-edge technology, and wonderful support staff, who are committed to providing the best professional services.
We visited his clinic in DHA Y block and to our surprise, they not only provide the latest dental treatments but also facial aesthetic and cosmetic services. So, don’t be fooled by “dental” as they provide a plethora of services and those too are vast and outclass.
How did you get into this field?
My father has been my inspiration, he is the most influential person in me being a dentist. He has been my teacher, mentor, and guide, not just for me but also for a lot of dentists in Pakistan and abroad. Ever since I started practicing, I enjoy helping my patients smile and eat with ease.
How do you provide instructions to patients on dental hygiene?
Instructions to patients are given mostly by demonstrating tooth brushing techniques and showing them how to floss in order to maintain good oral hygiene. We always make sure we are in good communication with the patient for the betterment of their oral health. We also advise them tips and habits they should adopt to improve the oral hygiene
Where did you get your certifications from?
I have my bachelor’s degree from de’Montmorency College of dentistry and post-grad from Kings College London in Advanced Aesthetic dentistry.
What treatments do you offer?
We are a team of specialist providing all dental treatments we offer dental implants for missing teeth, smile makeover to improve smiles, braces to improve crooked or crowded teeth, root canal treatment to save a tooth, scaling to clean the plaque, teeth whitening for a brighter smile, wisdom tooth extraction as well as gum disease treatment.
What are the biggest opportunities and challenges for practice right now?
The biggest challenge is to stay on top of your game. Keeping up to date with dental equipment and technology is the core of success for today’s dental practices. Patients today are highly informed. They demand quality services. So, it is important to have specialized equipment and technology more now than ever before.
As people are becoming aware of oral health and its importance. We are seeing more people attending dentists and more importantly, dentistry is now been recognized as a cosmetic and aesthetic treatment.
What do you do for fun?
Dentists are happy fun-loving people too. I enjoy traveling around the world for sightseeing and attending conferences. I also play cricket and golf. I enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends.
Being a doctor treating patients, how have you been able to fairly balance work and friends/family?
Work-life balance is difficult in any profession but I am lucky to have a team of professionals who are working with me on the practice. I can have flexible hours too but my team helps me in finding time for my family and friends.
Balancing work and daily family life is an ongoing challenge but passion for work especially creating smiles for my patients makes it fun and helps in fulfilling my goals. Thinking innovatively and a focused vision has helped my dental practice to be successful.
How toothpaste tubes are being portrayed as magic wands? Can toothpastes really cure bleeding gums, sensitivity, and toothache?
I believe toothpaste is being portrayed as a magic wand that can fix dental issues, but the reality is that it’s not true. All the dental issues and treatment options are to be diagnosed and advised respectively by the dentist and the specialist.
If the problem is not looked at by the dentist and magic wands are used to get any relief, it would make the issues worse. Instead of trying home remedies, I would always advise getting help from a professional.
Dentistry is not expensive neglect is.
The New Normal Sets The New Backdrop For E-Commerce
The Covid 19 pandemic that started in the beginning of this year has changed and introduced many ideas worldwide. Many new terminologies with their technical meaning are also becoming the components of our lives. The new normal has brought a lot that is going to change the course of our economic system. More relying on digital space this new phase of economy called e commerce never bloomed like it did in last six months.
Pakistan has also emerged as a country which is finding new ways for its shopping and discount lover citizens to get connected to their favourite brands. Loot Sale, a Pakistan based eCommerce startup is a fashion marketplace listing original branded products aiming to bridge the gap between the consumers’ want of constant discounts and retailers’ need for fast inventory turn-over. Loot Sale has secured seed capital from Light Speed Ventures, a multi-strategy fund focused on the early-stage tech ventures.
The brands’ motto, “Pay Less, Shop More,” is conveyed to the 220 million audience of the 5th largest nation of the world: everything on www.loot.sale is at a discount, All Day, Every Day.
“Loot Sale goal is to build as a customer centric brand, providing original products, offering price-match guarantee and no-questions asked return policy. The website (www.loot.sale) has launched with an inventory of over 400,000 units, and stock value of almost one billion rupees, said Malik Asad, the CEO Loot Sale.”
A brand awareness campaign across all mediums has already kicked off nationwide, he added.
With the official launch on 10.10.2020, Loot Sale has already partnered with over 75 fashion brands including BTW, Cross Stitch, Hop Scotch, Hush Puppies, LimeLight, Maria.B, Nishat, Orient, Stylo, The Linen Co, Zareen by Sapphire, just to name a few. The team forecasted to list over 20 lac products showcasing 150 brands by the end of December 2020.
The social platforms of the brands are:
Bayaan Releases ‘Teri Tasveer’ Music Video
Following the release of their debut album “Suno”, Bayaan is ecstatic to release the music video of ‘Teri Tasveer’, a melancholic ballad from the album. ‘Teri Tasveer’ is the first song from Bayaan that has crossed the one million views mark on YouTube and has garnered the band global visibility to thousands of new listeners.
Bayaan teamed up with Director Hamza Bin Tahir and Cinematographer Awais Gohar for the third time to produce this music video. The band has luckily found individuals who understand their music and present concepts that keep everyone interested throughout. Like the band said, “we are lucky to have found this dream team combo.” Their previous work with Bayaan includes music videos for ‘Khel Tamasha’ and ‘Hum Nadaan’, two songs from their previous collection called ‘4 Saal’. The Art Direction and Production Design is done by Hashim Ali who did a brilliant job in pulling off the Victorian-era looks for the video.
Given the song’s wide acclaim, it is their most anticipated music video to date after Covid-19 put a hold on all music related activities, just like it did for hundreds of other musicians and artists globally.
While talking about ‘Teri Tasveer’, Asfar told The Daily Paperazzi, “There are some songs that we plan beforehand, whereas there are songs that just fall together piece by piece, this was the case with ‘Teri Tasveer’. From the initial humming to the first few lyrics, it all just happened during a jam session and it felt like a gift from God that all of us put together because we were sure that it would reach a lot of people.”
Similarly, while talking about the music video, the band said, “It is no doubt that the song is very special to each and every member as everybody interprets it differently, allowing the listeners to do the same. The idea with the video was to let the listener feel the purity of the message which was done by the acting, the set design, the production and the nostalgic melancholic analog vibe going on in the video. All of it had to be real for us. Although we were skeptical about how we would pull this off; how it will look visually as well. Since we wanted it to be very real, we are lucky that the final product looked exactly how we imagined it to be. We are glad how this turned out and we are hopeful that our listeners would love it too and experience this journey with us.”
The album – a collection of 9 tracks that is a labour of love for the quintet – is a familiar (and hopefully welcome) territory for fans of the band, featuring atmospheric build-ups, meaningful lyrics and melodies that are soulful and catchy. Through this album, they pay homage to the band’s collective inspirations and influences while staying distinctly Bayaan.
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