A friend like Zaki

By Farheen Abdullah

KARACHI: With episode 20 on air, Mere Ban Jao may be an under rated drama at the moment but it has very important lessons to teach us. From portraying a narcissistic and manipulative man like Fardeen (Azfar Rehman) to handling the highly sensitive yet taboo topic of revenge porn, the storyline is gripping to say the least.

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But what stands out as a ray of hope amongst all the abuse Azmiya (Kinza Hashmi) has to go through, is her budding friendship with Zaki (Zahid Ahmed). The bond transcends social status and class and while Zaki may have feelings for Azmiya, he never pushes for something more than platonic friendship.

Episode 20 of Mere Ban Jao was a difficult one to watch, specially when Azmiya is on the verge of committing suicide. But Zaki senses that something is wrong and teaches us what can be done in case we detect a friend could be in danger.

  • Check in on them regularly
  • If you sense that the friend could be self harming, stay on the phone with them if you cannot physically be with them in the moment
  • While speaking to them, try to buy as much time as possible while you or someone else reaches the friend
  • Remind them of the strength they hold within and all the light they have brought in the lives of people around them
  • Remind them that it is the abuser who deserves to be punished, not them.
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However, revenge porn, blackmail or abuse of any form can take a serious toll on an individual’s mental health. While support from friends and family can play an important role, it is best to receive professional help. In case of emergencies, you can reach out to Umang, a 24/7 helpline: 0311-7786264

If you or someone you know is a victim to cyber harassment, you can file a complaint with:
Digital Rights Foundation
Cyber harassment helpline: 0800-39393
Federal Investigation agency 
Online form: complaint.fia.gov.pk/
24/7 helpline: 111-345-786

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