FIA finds Meesha Shafi ‘guilty’ for running campaign against Ali Zafar

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LAHORE: Pakistani singer Meesha Shafi was found guilty by the Federal Investigation Agency of running a smear campaign against Ali Zafar on Tuesday. According to reports, an interim challan was submitted by FIA’s cybercrime Lahore wing, before the court overlooking the FIR registered on Zafar’s complaint after Shafi accused him of sexual harassment in April 2018.

According to FIA, Shafi could not present witnesses before the court that would back her allegations against Zafar, thereby making her statement against him ‘defamatory’ and ‘false.’  Back in November 2018, Zafar had filed a complaint with FIA’s cybercrime wing, claiming he was receiving threats from multiple social media accounts.

As per Zafar, several fake accounts were created as part of a smear campaign against him. He also alleged that the profiles were linked to Shafi. “A twitter account @nehasaigol1, which posted 3,000 defamatory tweets against me and my family only in one year, [was] created 50 days before Meesha’s allegations of sexual harassment,” he had told FIA .

Meesha Shafi and Ali Zafar

Shafi and her team of lawyers had presented themselves before the FIA in December 2019 but could not present witnesses to back their claims.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has asked the trial court to start its proceedings against them. The FIA’s cybercrime Lahore wing on Tuesday submitted an interim challan before the court of a special judge central in the FIR registered on the complaint filed by Mr Zafar.

In the interim challan, the FIA said: “During the course of investigation so far Meera Shafi alias Meesha Shafi, Iffat Omar, Maham Javaid, Leena Ghani, Haseemus Zaman, Fariha Ayub, Syed Faizan Raza, Humna Raza and Ali Gul Pir have been found guilty in this case as per available oral and documentary evidences. However, the complainant recorded his statement in favour of Hamna Raza to the extent of accepting her apology, thus she is not required in the investigation furthermore.”

The FIA said Ms Shafi posted defamatory and false allegations of sexual harassment against Ali Zafar in April 19, 2018 but she failed to produce any witnesses before it in favour of her allegations. The other suspects also failed to provide evidence in favour of the direct allegations posted by them on social media. Resultantly, an FIR was registered on the court’s order in September last against them under section 20 (1) of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and R/W 109-PPC.

In November 2018, Ali Zafar had filed a complaint with the FIA cyber-crime wing, alleging that many social media accounts were posting “threats and defamatory material” against him. He provided details of some Twitter and Facebook accounts to support his claim.

Mr Zafar, in his complaint, had attached the pictures Ms Shafi had uploaded on her social media accounts but ‘discretely deleted just before making the allegation’. He had also submitted a ‘threat message’ sent to his manager on Instagram in Feb 2018.