A Pakistani performing artist and actress – Rabica Sahar has disappeared in the United Kingdom after entering the country on an entertainment visa, a local new news outlet reported.
Rabica, a resident of Lahore but originally from Okara, claimed asylum in the UK only five days after her arrival on Sept 8. She cited “slavery” and “human trafficking” as reasons, sources claimed.
The Lahore actress had arrived in the UK along with dozens of other artists for a three-month period to perform at various entertainment venues across the country. However, during her last day of performing in London before moving on to Manchester, she reportedly made the appeal for asylum.
According to the report, Rabica Sahar made the request for application because she thought she was being enslaved as her passport was being forcefully held by the club manager. An inspection raid was subsequently carried out at the venue where Rabica was staying. However, authorities failed to find anything suggestive of her being “forced” and “enslaved”.
The report said that it later emerged that the club manager had kept Rabica’s and the other artists’ passports in a safe locker at their request for purposes of safekeeping – something to which other artists testified.
Several other contradictions have also emerged in the case.
Pictures of the actress on social media showing her eagerness to travel to UK have emerged and are indicative of her going there to perform out of her own free will.
Prior to her arrival, the Lahore actress gave interviews to Pakistani newspapers saying that she was going abroad to perform.
During investigations Rabica also told an immigration official that she was being threatened by another Lahore actress – Ravina, who also travelled with her to the UK.
Responding to allegations of threatening Rabica, Ravina’s husband said in a statement to a reporter, “Ravina is my wife. She is 21 years old and Rabica is 35 years old. How can she claim that Ravina enslaved her. Ravina was accompanied by Rabica but she has nothing to do with her claim of slavery. She asked me to arrange her UK visa, which I did.”
“The three girls arrived in the UK on September 8 and there were no performances scheduled until September 11. During the first three days, all three girls were visiting together and sightseeing. Rabica used references and begged for inclusion in the troupe for UK which I arranged,” he added.