A woman wearing jeans is an easy target for our society, says Mariyam Nafees

Actor took to IG to tell the other side of the story of the girls filmed attacking a salesman in a viral video

Entertainment Desk July 11, 2024

Earlier this week, a video of three girls dressed in jeans and T-shirts in Lahore’s Garden Town made headlines after the trio were caught on video physically attacking a salesman, seemingly without provocation, at a petrol station convenience store.

With online rumours alluding to the girls’ influential and affluent backgrounds, public sympathy rose in flames for the seemingly hapless salesman, with the who’s who of showbiz entering the fray to add their two cents on their Instagram Stories.

Echoing the majority of reactions that sided with the attacked salesman, musician and actor Haroon Shahid, evidently flabbergasted, put up still from the video and took to his keyboard to hammer out, “What the hell is this? Who are these people?”

Sympathy appeared in limited stock for the enraged women as actor and host Sanam Jung also slammed them on social media. “Highly disappointed!” penned the on her IG stories. In allegiance with the salesman under attack, Sanam added, “They get away, won’t they? Power and money over justice will prevail!

Meanwhile, taking to his Instagram stories, British Pakistani actor Ahsan Khan appeared to refrain from openly passing judgement as he commented under the video, “Anyone know the whole story?”

Someone, it turns out, does claim to know the whole story: Ishq Jalebi actor Mariyam Nafees, who publicly confirmed on social media that she personally knows the girls in the video. Unable to stomach the slew of comments slating them for attacking a man seemingly out of the blue, Mariyam took the time to craft a video clip to detail exactly how the incident unfolded. Demanding the full video from the shop owner that would show what prompted the attack, Mariyam began her own clip on her Instagram Stories by expressing sorrow and anger that the cards are always stacked against women.

“Unfortunately, we live in a society where you have to provide proof if you have been harassed,” said Mariyam. “And the ones who demand it are usually the ones who have been harassed themselves several times, so none of this [public reaction] comes as a shock to me.”

Mariyam, who confirmed that she was not being paid to voice her views to speak in favour of her friends, added sarcastically, “They were educated, and of course, they saw a random guy and started beating him up! Is that what you think?”

Adding that there is definitely another side to the story, Mariyam went on to detail the verbal abuse the girls endured before they took their anger out on the salesman. According to her, their only crime was to dress in Western clothing for snacks after dark, which then prompted the salesman to make lewd comments pertaining to their body and clothing.

“Those girls are now getting death threats and rape threats,” said an enraged Mariyam. “But no one knows the other side of the story. That man started calling them a prostitute and used other filthy words before telling them to get out. So they asked, ‘Why should we get out?’”

Mariyam added that matters only escalated from there, leaving the girls with no choice but to attack the man who had verbally abused them without cause.

“Just because the girls were wearing Western clothes and had stepped out for some tea, people assumed they were public property,” lamented Mariyam. “I just want to know, if girls are wearing Western clothes, is there any safety? Is there any accountability? You men out there – if another man starts commenting on the chest size of your mother or sister, how would you react?”

For those who are concerned that the girls in the video are using their wealth to gain the upper hand in seeking justice, Mariyam had a comeback prepared. “None of these girls come from powerful families,” she revealed. “One of them has come from another city. This is not an act of power.”

Ending with a plea for those in charge to step forward with the complete footage, Mariyam asked “Where is the pump owner? There must be a voice recording of this. Please release the recording where the pump salesman was verbally abusing the girls. Please release the audio so that we can get the complete picture.”

With Mariyam having taken the mantle to speak up for the underdog, it remains to be seen whether public sway will change direction.  

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