This week, the news by a leading Pakistani publication regarding Ali Zafar allegedly working with Patari to undermine Meesha Shafi’s brother Faris Shafi’s latest track has created an uproar on social media.

While a clarification from Ali Zafar was awaited on the controversy, the singer’s lawyer has broken silence on the matter

According to Barrister Ambreen Qureshi:

The article published online at Dawn Images on 04 June 2017 titled ‘Evidence Emerges that Ali Zafar and Patari worked to undermine Faris Shafi’s latest track is incorrect, misleading and shows disregard for fact-checking and balanced reporting.

This reporting has now put my client and his team in a position to have to clarify his position as he is being targeted and bullied based on an incorrect story. To this end:

Ali Zafar did not at any time speak to nor reach out to Patari, directly or indirectly for any kind of forced placement of his music for his film as suggested by the story above. This is an absolutely false and misleading narrative.

Further, the author seems to deliberately present ‘facts’ to use them to build a narrative that may seem to people as Mr. Ali Zafar responsible for sending out such a message or him/his team having such a conversation when it was never actually had.

The website titles the article as “Evidence emerges that Ali Zafar and Patari worked to undermine Faris Shafi’s” latest track; Mr Faris Shafi is in fact Ms Meesha’s Shafi’s brother. The fact the author leaves out the more popular/known artist “Ali Sethi” whose song it is equally, within the article headline and only keeps in that of Ms Shafi’s brother, show the kind of narrative that the author and website have sought to build, as is in fact also evident in previous articles involving our client on the same website for which we will lodge a private complaint with the said publication’s website.

The author shares in the article a ‘leaked’ screenshot of an INTERNAL employee to employee communication which seems to be happening in their internal server at Patari, where a gentleman whose name was kept anonymous, claiming to represent Ali Zafar’s views was communicating with another employee. This employee has neither spoken to Ali, nor his communications team nor his management team all of whom represent Ali officially. The Patari employee had only been in communication with the independent music license company responsible for Teefa in Trouble’s music distribution in Pakistan, who in their own right, like any distribution company, have all the right to ask for a fair positioning of content as they do with all the streaming websites they work with independently. However, fair placement is never at the cost of anyone else’s content being compromised. Patari ideally should have clarified this explicitly in their statement yesterday.

However, this has now been confirmed by Patari through Faisal Sherjan, co founder of Patari via his publically available statement as follows [edited for relevance to this specific matter]

‘…The screenshot leaked to Dawn Images is reflective of an internal conversation between Patari employees and not a conversation between Ali Zafar’s team members or Ali Zafar and Patari as is being discussed. Nobody from Patari spoke to Ali Zafar , directly or indirectly for any kind of forced placement of his music for his film as suggested by the Dawn story . This is a false narrative. The said employee has neither spoken to Ali, nor his communications team nor his management team all of whom represent Ali Zafar officially. Humayoun inadvertently referred to Ali. He had only been in communication with the independent music publishing company responsible for Teefa in Trouble’s music distribution in Pakistan, who in their own right, like any distribution company, have all the right to ask for a fair positioning of content as they do with all the streaming websites they work with independently. Such placement was never asked for at the cost of anyone else’s content being compromised. I confirm that there was never any written or verbal conversation whereby a member of Ali’s team or Ali Zafar himself asked us to remove another artists songs or show favour to his music over that of another artist. Anything reported otherwise in Dawn or any other media is misleading and false. Faris Shafi’s song is in multiple sections of Patari and is in fact Trending at number 2.’
We urge such media to show more caution and balance in what they present as evidence and fact.

What do you think about the statement issued by Ali Zafar’s lawyer? Let us know in the comments below.

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