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What is the Story Behind TikTok Star Hareem Shah and Sheikh Rasheed?

A popular TikTok star of Pakistan with a large following, Hareem Shah, has been in the news recently because of some leaked videos with the Federal Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rasheed.

While the reason behind the leak is unclear, the videos show Sheikh Rasheed talking to Hareem Shah and Sundal Khattak through what seems to be a live video chat application. Last week, while talking to some local TV reporters, Hareem Shah claimed that Sheikh Rasheed did “Nikah-i-Mutta” with a friend of hers and thus, was no her brother-in-law.

She has now confessed later that the videos, which were released on Tuesday by her friend, were not fake. However, she stated that the social media statements being attributed to her are not true and such things should not be linked to PTI. She claimed that her pictures were being photoshopped and she was receiving threats from strangers on the internet. She said, “I am a Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) supporter and a fan of PM Imran Khan. My entire family is in PTI. We are PTI workers therefore make videos with them”.

She also denied reports of having been divorced twice, saying there was no truth to it. This was related to a report by Independent Urdu which claimed that Hareem Shah had been married to her cousin and had one daughter, but the marriage could not go on for long.

It also stated that people from her village, in the Mansehra District, has been “ashamed” after the news about her had been reported. A teacher in the report said that Hareem Shah had ruined the village’s name and reputation, and most villagers refrained from mentioning that she belonged to their village.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened; Hareem Shah was previously shrouded in controversy when after a video of her inside the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan went viral on the internet. Later, another video of her dancing with Muhammad Ameen, a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MPA from Gilgit, at a private hotel caused quite a stir among social media users as well.

The TikTor stars have even threatened to leak videos of Prime Minister Imran Khan. While this may be a good way to get clout for the TikTok stars, it does raise the question of security when ministers are seen being played so easily by social media stars.

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