Islamabad: A Pakistani model and stage dancer has disappeared in the UK after she arrived in the country on an entertainment visa reserved for performing artists, a media report said.
Rabica Sahar, based in Lahore but originally from Okara, arrived in the UK on September 8 for three months for dance performances at various entertainment venues across the country, Geo News said in the report on Saturday.
She claimed asylum just five days after her arrival, citing “slavery” and “human trafficking” as the reason, a source has confirmed.
On the last day performing in London before moving onto her next show in Manchester, Sahar told her fellow artists that she had decided to stay in the UK and would not return to Pakistan.
According to the Geo News report, Sahar made the asylum request during an inspection raid conducted at the well-known London venue.
Dozens of artists and visitors were present and nothing untoward was found by the immigration inspectors when they conducted the search.
An industry source told Geo News that the police interviewed the artists from Pakistan and other countries besides checking the venue, including the residential rooms, but found nothing wrong.
The police did not find any violations of immigration rules or terms of the entertainment license being abused, but Sahar told the immigration officers that she was being kept as a “slave” by the venue manager.
Several pictures of the model have emerged on social media, including interviews in which she says that she was not being forced to visit or migrate by anyone but on her own free will.
Just a week prior to her travel, Rabica visited a government office in Lahore to apply for a protector certificate, which is required for overseas travel and ensures that the Pakistan government knows where a person is going to work and even what income they are going to earn.
There has been no official statements from either of the two governments.