Meesha Shafi

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Meesha Shafi
December 1, 1981 Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Singer
  • Actress
  • Model
Parent(s)Saba Hameed (mother)
Syed Pervaiz Shafi (father)
RelativesSaba Hameed (mother)
Faris Shafi (Brother)
Hameed Akhtar (maternal grandfather)
Musical career
Years active2009-present

Meesha Shafi (Urdu: میشا شفیع) is a Pakistani-born Canadian[1] singer, actress and model.[2][3]

She made her film debut with a supporting role in the 2013 Mira Nair's film The Reluctant Fundamentalist. She achieved further critical success for her role as Laxmi, an Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing's operative, in Bilal Lashari's action thriller film Waar, which ranks among the highest-grossing Pakistani films of all time in Pakistan.

Early life[edit]

Shafi was born in Lahore, Pakistan 1981 to actress Saba Hameed and Syed Pervaiz Shafi. She did her A Levels from Lahore Grammar School and graduated with a degree in fine arts from the National College of Arts in 2007.[4] In 2016, Shafi became a Canadian citizen.[1]



Shafi entered the modelling industry at the age of 17, when she starred opposite Jawad Ahmed in the music video for the song "Bin Teray Kya Hai Jeena".[5] In 2009 Shafi became the brand ambassador for L'Oreal Paris Pakistan.[4] She has featured in many Pakistani magazines and in international publications such as L'Officiel and Vogue India.[5]


Shafi made her screen debut with the 2006 serial Muhabbat Khawab Ki Soorat on Hum TV. She then appeared in Geo TV serial Ye Zindagi To Woh Nahi in 2007.

She made her film debut with Mira Nair's 2012 Hollywood film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (based on Mohsin Hamid's novel of the same name), alongside Kate Hudson and Riz Ahmed. The film describes the bad impact of Americans toward Muslims after 9/11. Shafi had a minor role and appeared in only two scenes in the film in the role of the male lead's sister. The film received mixed reviews from critics, and failed to break even at the box office.[6][7]

She then acted in Bilal Lashari's Pakistani film Waar, alongside Shaan Shahid. Her portrayal of Laxmi, an Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing's operative was critically praised by the Pakistani media. The movie won her the 'Best Supporting Actress' award at the ARY Film Awards in 2014.

In 2016, Shafi has a lead role in the TV costume drama Mor Mahal which is set in the mid-19th century.

In 2023, Shafi appeared in the film Mustache, which premiered at the South by Southwest film festival.

Music career[edit]

Shafi started her singing career with the band Overload with her husband, but left in 2011. Shafi sang along with the internationally acclaimed folk singer Arif Lohar on Coke Studio Pakistan Season 3, with the song "Alif Allah (Jugni)". The single, originally composed and performed by Lohar, gathered over 20 million+ views on YouTube, was the most-viewed Coke Studio song ever, until it was overtaken by "Tajdaar-e-Haram", and was used in several films like Cocktail, Diary of a Butterfly and Jugni.[5]

She sang a rendition of the folk song "Chori Chori", which received mixed reviews.[citation needed] She returned to Coke Studio (Season 5) in 2012 when she sang "Ishq Aap Bhi Awalla" with the Chakwalees and sang a ghazal by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, "Dasht-e-Tanhai".

In 2014, Meesha Shafi returned to the Coke Studio floor for a third time to perform "Sun Ve Balori" with the composer and tabla guru Ustad Tafu and producers Strings.

In 2015, Meesha Shafi lent her vocals to two OSTs. One being 'EVA' that was produced by Strings is featured on the soundtrack of the film Moor, released in August 2015, and directed by director Jami.

In August 2015, she released 'Mehram Dilaan De Mahi' for the OST of the biopic (directed and portrayed on screen by Sarmad Khoosat), based on the life and works of prose writer, Manto. The track is produced by True Brew Records and the lyrics are by Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi. 'Manto' was released on 11 September 2015.

TV appearance[edit]

In April 2013, Shafi joined Strings, Ali Azmat, Shahzad Hasan and Alamgir as a judge and mentor on the singing talent show Cornetto Music Icons, aired on ARY Digital.

In July 2017,Meesha Shafi joined Fawad Khan and Farooq Ahmed in the audition round as judge while Khan, Shafi, Atif Aslam and Shahi Hasan were the judges in the knockout round of Pepsi Battle of the Bands Season 2. Ayesha Omer is the host of the season.[12]

Shafi also went on to judge Season 3 and 4 of Pepsi Battle of the Bands!

Personal life[edit]

Shafi's maternal grandfather, Hameed Akhtar, was a novelist and newspaper columnist, president of the Progressive Writers' Movement, and editor of Urdu daily newspapers including Imroz and Nawa-e-Waqt. In 2008, she married musician Mahmood Rahman.[8] The couple have two children, a daughter named Janevi, and a son named Kazimir.[9]

Ali Zafar Incident[edit]

In 2018 Meesha Shafi accused actor Ali Zafar of sexual harassment. She filed a case with the Punjab Ombudsperson (who is supposed to adjudicate cases of harassment of women in the workplace), who declined to hear the case because she "did not have an employer-employee relationship" with Zafar. An appeal she filed with the governor was dismissed, again on "technical grounds". Lahore High Court rejected her case on the basis that there was no employer-employee relationship between Ali and Meesha. Meesha's case helped in spotting out loophole in Pakistani justice system according to which a woman cannot make harassment allegations against someone unless she's employed by the accused party.[10] On 17 September 2019 Meesha Shafi filed a civil defamation case against Zafar for statements made he made in April 2019 on Hum News, which alleged that she was lying about the sexual harassment allegations against him in order to obtain fame and Canadian immigration. Shafi denied these accusations, arguing that she was already a celebrity as well as a Canadian citizen at the time of the original complaint.[11]

On 29 September 2020, Ali Zafar won petition to have Shafi's civil defamation case against him stopped while he launched a FIR against Meesha Shafi and eight others for posting defamatory content against him on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.[12][13]

Shafi won an appeal against Lahore High Court's decision to stop her defamation case in favor of Zafar's on 19 January 2022.[11]

Acting career[edit]


Year Film Role Language Note
2013 The Reluctant Fundamentalist[7][5] Bina Khan English
2013 Bhaag Milkha Bhaag[7] Perizaad Hindi
2013 Waar[5] Zoya, Laxmi Urdu, English ARY Film Award for Best Supporting Actress[14]
2014 The Tournament of Shadows[5] English Filming
2023 Mustache Asiya English, Urdu


Year Show Role Language Note
2016 Mor Mahal Farrukh Zaad Urdu


Year Title
2009 Pichal Pairee
2012 The Reluctant Fundamentalist[5]

Coke Studio songs[edit]

Year Song Notes
2010 "Chori Chori" Originally sung by Reshma
2010 "Alif Allah" [5] Performed with Arif Lohar
2012 "Dasht-e-Tanhai Originally sung by Iqbal Bano
2012 "Ishq Aap Bhe Awalla" Performed with Chakwal Group
2014 "Sunn Ve Balori" Originally sung by Noor Jehan
2014 "Jugni"[5] Originally sung by Alam Lohar
2016 "Aa Rahe Haq Ka Shaheedo" Originally sung by Naseem Begum[15]
2016 "Bholay Bhalay"
2016 "Aya Lariye"
2020 "Gal Sunn"
2020 "Na Tutteya Ve"
2022 "Muaziz Shaarif"


Year Song Film Composer
2015 EVA Moor Strings
2016 Sun Vey Bilori Shaan-e-Ishq Amir Munawar
2017 24/7 Lak Hilna Punjab Nahi Jaongi Shani Arshad
2022 Mahiya Ve Mahiya London Nahi Jaunga Shani Arshad

Pepsi Battle of the Bands

Year Season Song Notes
2017 2 "Speaker Phaar"

2018 3 "Koi Sarda Aye Te Sare"

Originally sung by Noor Jehan

2019 4 "Leela"

Velo Sound Station Songs[edit]

Year Song Notes
2020 "Boom Boom" Originally sung by Nazia Hassan
2020 "Amrit"
2023 "Saranjaam"

Miscellaneous Songs[edit]

Year Song Notes
2020 “Sakal Ban” Written by Amir Khusrau
2021 “Hot Mango Chutney Sauce”
2022 “Rajkumari”

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Meesha Shafi's legal team demands public apology from Ali Zafar". The Express Tribune (newspaper). 29 April 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  2. ^ Meesha Shafi becomes certified yoga instructor Daily Pakistan (newspaper), Published 14 June 2021, Retrieved 14 June 2021
  3. ^ "Meesha Shafi: A Model, Actor and Singer". Web PK website. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Meesha interview with Fashion Central". Fashion Central. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mansuri, Anam (9 September 2012). "It's getting hot in here". The Express Tribune (newspaper). Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  6. ^ Film review of The Reluctant Fundamentalist on Box Office Mojo website Retrieved 16 June 2021
  7. ^ a b c Crossing Dangerous Borders (in the movie 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist') The New York Times, Published 19 April 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2021
  8. ^ Ben, Mark (31 May 2016). "Meesha Shafi Singer 'A Daughter of Saba Waseem'". Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  9. ^ Syed, Madeeha (11 May 2014). "Spotlight: Mum's the word! (Meesha Shafi and her actress mother Saba Hameed)". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  10. ^ Bilal, Rana (11 October 2019). "LHC dismisses Meesha Shafi's appeal in harassment case against Ali Zafar". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  11. ^ a b News Desk (19 January 2022). "Meesha Shafi Wins Appeal Against Stay Order Obtained By Ali Zafar". The Friday Times – Naya Daur. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  12. ^ "Ali Zafar Files FIR Against Meesha Shafi, Eight Others For Posting Defamatory Content Against Him". BOL News. Pakistan. 29 September 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Pakistan's #MeToo movement hangs in the balance over celebrity case". January 2021.
  14. ^ "'Waar' dominates ARY Film Awards with 13 major wins". Daily Times (newspaper). Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  15. ^ Anis Ahmed Shakur (17 April 2001). "Naseem Begum: The Tragedy Queen". website. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2021.

External links[edit]