Australian survivor of Pakistani groomer shares account of her escape from the clutches of rapist in Pakistan

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London: January 8, 2019. (PCP) The has condemned Britain as revelations of Pakistani Muslim men involved in sexual grooming gangs have highlighted a sexual depravity that has resulted in thousands of girls having been used as sexual playthings - suffering beatings and abuse and being treated as slaves by predators of the worst kind.

Britain's police authorities and social services institutions have been rocked by allegations of a reluctance to prosecute and label the criminals who are predominantly from one particular ethnic-faith-group, for fear of being labelled as Islamophobic, in one of the worst cases of politically correct madness.

However, as the world judges Britain's statutory services, perhaps many other nations need to review the predatory instincts of this particular ethno-religious group within their own nations too.

Today we reveal the insights of an Australian woman who was groomed into travelling to Pakistan, where she became the sexual slave of a Pakistani Muslim man who was intent on converting her to Islam - in his attempts to subjugate her to his will.

Despite several attempts to bully her into marriage Lara Hall (30 yrs) bravely stood up to the rapist Sajjad Khan (31 yrs) and eventually managed to contact Lahore Police who extricated her from his clutches. She has written an account of her ordeal which reveals much of the brutality and anguish she faced and has explained how not entering the marriage contract meant that she did not become the property of her rapist, which would have left her prone to his every whim.

Lara's ordeal shaped her resolve and has led her to become a key volunteer for the BPCA (Australia) Group and she explains that she wants her tragedy to become an opportunity to speak out against the perils of poor social-morality in Pakistan, which has come about through the promulgation of hard-line Islamic teachings. She also hopes that news of her emancipation will help girls in similar situations find a way out of their predicament, while raising awareness of the threat of the Islamist agenda.

Today in an interview Lara expressed her concern for Asia Bibi a mother of five children who finds herself hated by an estimated 90% of Pakistan's population because of her Christian faith. She said:

"I am calling on America, Britian and every nation in the west to grant Asia Bibi asylum.

"America and Britain are among the family’s primary choices for asylum these nations have both been vocal in their strong stance against capitulating to Islamic terrorism but have failed so far to illustrate tangible solidarity with the plight of Asia Bibi. You can learn more about Asia Bibi. (here)

"I first heard about Asia Bibi when I was re-homing some beloved cats I had acquired while I was in Pakistan to a Christian family, whilst planning to flee my rapist.

"I explained to my Christian friends that I was in a troublesome situation and I was put in touch with the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), chaired by eminent human rights figure Wilson Chowdhry a recipient of, inter alia, the London Peace prize and countless other human rights accolades.

"The BPCA helped me with my safe exit and have helped finance my counselling since my return to Australia.

"When I read about Asia’s story my blood immediately curdled, and the trauma of my own horrifying experience that I had just left in Pakistan came back to me. There were men out for her blood and I identified immediately with her having also found myself in a compromising situation in Pakistan too.

"Please Britain and America do the right thing and offer Asia Bibi and her family immediate asylum and join the growing throng of western nations willing to stand up for this woman despite the unwarranted offence it may cause to radical Muslims."

In 2012, Lara was on a train and noticed a woman who was visibly upset. During a conversation with the distressed woman Lara discovered that she didn’t have many English speaking friends, and was perpetually failing her English test which she needed to pass to retain her visa. In an act of compassion Lara offered to help her with her English test.

Lara learned that Rehana was from Pakistan, and became friends with her family who were very open and friendly to her. Rehana's brother runs a restaurant in Sydney and were quite well off but were very troubled by those members of their family who were left behind. They asked if Lara would accept a green card marriage with a brother of Rehana but Lara refused, on account of her principles which caused the family great offence, which startled Lara but she chose to forgive the family as she had grown to love them.

"In order to contrive a sense of family, she would often invite me over, and her family would cook me beautiful Pakistani meals. They would tell me how much they loved me. They would go to Pakistan and bring back gifts and make me feel special and important."

However, the brother Sajjad took special interest in Lara and In 2017, while she was going through a emotional problem with her family that left her extremely vulnerable he started chatting with her on-line. He would often console Lara and seemed to be providing her with with a nurturing acceptance that became very desirable for her.

Sajjad was introduced to all the people close to Lara including her sister, and best friends all of whom were seduced by his emotive responses to her concerns and his exhibited love for Lara.

"He told me educated women were free to stroll about in Pakistan.

"He promised me a job at a law firm, said Lara.

"Reports on the status of women in the country were fraught with bias, he explained.

"So I went to live in Pakistan for a few months to get away from the stress caused by my family.

"Absent of hindsight, the visit made perfect sense.

"Sajjad's brother was getting married, and he needed a date to the wedding, which would be the perfect opportunity for me to decide whether our intermittent chats could turn into a strong romance."

Unhygienic kitchen caused several cases of food poisoning

When Lara arrived at the home where Sajjad lived she was a little taken back that he lived in a five-bedroom room house which was accommodating 20 people. He had told Lara he was purchasing a house of his own, and that if they could hit it off romantically, they would be moving there. The house where Sajjad lived was unsanitary and overcrowded and despite initial poor health which Lara believes to be due to food poisoning caused by lack of food hygiene, and the limited privacy, she agreed to stay for a while

in order to build a relationship - she was already romantically hooked.

"I felt that he was a dream come true he had initially seemed so empathetic and compassionate with respect to my mental ailments and physical conditions. Besides, I thought to myself, I have known his Sydney family for almost 6 years and we see each other frequently, how could this individual be a fraud?

"Over time, however more of his lies were revealed as his story changed frequently.

"The house planned for us was rented, I was told. Then I was told it didn’t exist.

"He was a complete charlatan.

"He had even fabricated a fake purchase contract to convince me of his plans which illustrates how far he was willing to go to entrap me.

"I quickly realised that he was an habitual and pathological liar.

"I expressed my complaints to Sajjad. I told him I was no longer attracted to him.

None of this mattered. He physically, emotionally and sexually abused me, and allowed members of his family to do the same.

He shamed my body, and made me aware of the naivety of my decisions."

"I was a trapped woman.

"I was denied feminine hygiene products at times for no other reason then to cause me discomfort and shame.

"I was deprived of clean clothes for a lengthy period of time in an attempt to make me feel like a piece of property.

Lara informed BPCA that she was starved for long periods of time – even up to 14 hours on one occasion. Sajjad forced her to present herself naked before him after she showered so he could assess her like some meat in a market.

"One time I had a bit of shampoo left in my hair after a shower and Sajjad grabbed me forcibly, telling me I was an idiot. He dragged me into the bathroom and slammed my head into the basin and aggressively washed the residual shampoo from my hair.

"I was once made to lay naked on the bed with my legs open to “air my vagina out” – he told me he had read it on some blog that this was “healthy” practice.

"Every time I tried to get up he forced me back down – that is only a glimpse of the horror that happened in that house of horrors.

"One time when I was viscerally ill and vomiting he thought it was “hilarious” as I was vomiting to come up behind me and try to rape me as I was hurling.

"Again, this only touches the surface of my lived reality in that house."

She was groped, beaten and often raped and the abuse was not just from Sajjad.

"Sajjad raped me and his brother, Nadeem Rana, attempted to rape me on multiple occasions.

"He would grope me, kiss me and put his hands up my skirt. When I told Sajjad and Noureen (their sister) about it both were not bothered by the behaviour and did not condemn the conduct.

"In fact they said it was my fault for being in a state of constant sadness and “showing weakness.”

Soon for Lara it became normality for her to be bullied and excluded by most members of the family.

"When I went to talk to one of the children, Rayyan (13 yrs), his mother beat him senseless in front of my eyes and told him not to talk to that “gori slut.”

The cold, hard reality of the situation sunk in and it was Lara could due to prevent herself from falling to an abyss of despair.

"I was incredibly angry and ashamed", said Lara

"I had come all the way to Pakistan to be a prisoner.

"It was made very clear to me that I was an object of desire that was under Sajjad's control and that I could not leave the house without his permission.

"Sensing I was unhappy with my circumstances, Sajjad gifted me two stray cats to placate my feelings of loneliness and knowing I have a great affinity with animals.

"He pretended to have bought them but from their condition it was obvious that was not the case, women are expected to question nothing of men in that country and I duly obliged."

He told me Lara in no uncertain terms that she was his property and insisted that she perform a Nikkah (marriage vows) with him to cement their relationship.

"In spite of his mistreatment, I was supposed to marry the man!" exclaimed Lara.

He also wanted Lara to convert to Islam and he cautioned her strongly that If she ever disagreed with anything about the faith she would face harsh consequences. Whenever she spoke out in disagreement about any matter of faith, she was subject to long periods of confinement. Worse still during the five months she was with him, Lara was “allowed” out of the house for small intervals and strongly advised to wear a hijab an item of clothing that Lara has always considered a symbol of gender subjugation and abhorrent to her values.

"I was even admonished for approaching the front door of his home.

"It was very clear to me that I was his prisoner.

"To him I was “gori” (white) trash and most certainly not a human being with rights and feelings.

As time went on Lara planned to emancipate herself from her daily abuse but knew it would be very difficult. Besides she had her two cats to protect:

"As absurd as it sounds, those cats were my lifeline.

"I was determined to protect them.

"I was also determined to leave."

She soon discovered escaping was not going to be easy. At every turn, his family followed me, stalked me and even used their contacts in the police to confine her to their home.

She knew her situation was getting increasingly precarious, especially because Sajjad had purposely allowed her visa to lapse. She was slowly but surely heading into legal no man’s land and onto the infamous “black list” where you are liable to be thrown into jail as an over-stayer.

Lara desperately called the Australian consulate for help and was devastated when their lackadaisical response was to send her their charter. On several occasions she was simply advised that helping Australians in peril is beyond the scope of their charter.

Lara also called the Australian High Commission in Islamabad and received the same response.

"My story was starting to read a lot like the films “Out of Africa” and “Not Without My Daughter.”

The Australian Embassy insisted that Lara approach the local authorities for assistance despite her fears that they would collude with Sajjad and his family.

One night it became so terrible that a death threat was issued. Lara had been secretly planning her escape for quite sometime and noticed that a Samsung galaxy was paired with her phone (Sajjad has a Samsung phone).

She became immediately concerned that Sajjad was cognisant of her plans. With no other option open to her she approached him to confront him on the matter and viewed blue-toothed graphic images of Lara and other unknown girls on his mobile phone. Distraught by this invasion of her privacy she demanded that he delete the images and was told that he would “delete me and my “precious cats" alleges Lara.

"He told me that we would no longer exist.

"I took this to constitute a death threat and with a heavily palpitating heart, I ran up the marble stairs of his home and double-bolted the door.

"He tried to bang the door down numerous times and I made a decision to call the Police on the emergency '15' number, despite fears my lapsed visa would result in my arrest.

"With shaking hands, I placed my cats in their carriers and tried to soothe them and awaited the brutality of the police that would befall me, which Sajjad had told me would happen if I tried to escape through them."

The call resulted in a huge police presence of around 30 police officers, all armed with semi-automatic weapons, who raided the home. Sajjad’s family tried to paint Lara as a lunatic 'who was trying to run away from home'.

"They impeded my journey away from Pakistan up until I caught a flight back home.

"It is worth noting that I only barely escaped being black listed due to the aforementioned visa issues – I was due to go on the blacklist on the 18th of September.

"I arrived at the Interior Ministry in Islamabad to clear up my visa issue and deal with the massive overstay fine I had accrued one day short of that – the 17th of September.

"The Ministry were pretty rude and it was only by the grace of God that I did not go to jail that day, which was something they initially entertained doing."

Lara remains thankful to the many good people including Muslim's of great stature that helped her escape Pakistan.

"Absent the help of my homeland, I began to covertly network within Pakistan online.

"I knew that if my own country wasn’t going to help me I would have to find people who would. I started googling powerful people.

"I identified Dr Kaiser Rafiq, he owns Options Restaurant in Lahore, he is the legal adviser to the ruling family of Dubai, he runs an elite military club and a host of other businesses.

"I also networked with Lollywood stars, the “who’s who” of Pakistani cinema and film, including Nasir Khanjan who is “disheartened” that a “lovely girl” like me would be treated so abominably.

"I networked with billionaires and elite real estate magnates and tycoons – even Imran Khan’s inner circle.

I became close friends with the Saigols, an elite family in Pakistan, and I remain on very amicable terms with them, especially Asif Saigol whose friendship has helped me heal from the trauma.

I also made close friends with Raphay Shazhad who is part of the Lollywood community and he became one of my closest friends and helped me significantly in my efforts to attain freedom.

"These people alongside the BPCA (among many others) saved my life. There are too many people for me to name but I remain very thankful to the angels who helped extract me from a precarious situation in Pakistan.

My flight out of Lahore, Pakistan was on the 15th of October of 2018 and I broke down in tears then rejoiced at Lahore airport, when I realised I was finally going to escape my forced imprisonment and torture.

Lara screams with excitement in a joyous outburst for her impending freedom.

On her return to Australia Lara received counselling and prayers from several of BPCA's volunteers and slowly gained the strength for her to reach out and grasp back control of her life. She offered to volunteer with BPCA desperate to win back her confidence and ensure her tragedy could be used to benefit others.

"When I returned to Australia I was determined to “give” back to the Pakistani angels that had saved me and joined the BPCA administrative team, who significantly helped with my safe exit from Pakistan. As a trained lawyer I realised I had a specific skills set that could help the group and began writing for their blog.

"BPCA Chairman, Wilson Chowdhry, who has worked tirelessly on the Asia Bibi case, sent me the entire 56 page decision of the Pakistani Supreme Court and I was mortified by her predicament.

"In contrast to when Malala Yousafzai needed asylum, it seemed the West was hesitant to put up its hands to help this poor Pakistani Christian woman. It seemed the West was now capitulating to extremists, in fear of reprisal attacks on embassies and unrest in their own realms - a poor indictment of modern western diplomacy.

"I felt ashamed."

"BPCA wrote to the Australian government and received a “hard no.” In an abhorrently administrative letter, we were told Asia would have to “queue up.” I wrote an impassioned opinion piece on our BPCA blog calling on Australia to help.

"Wilson Chowdhry then flew to Australia and we held a rally on the 24th of November, 2018. It was shortly after the rally that we received confirmation that Foreign Affairs Minister, the Hon Peter Dutton, had changed his mind and would grant asylum to Asia.

It should be noted that most Australian MP's and Senators are on a regular e-newsletter distribution and would have been very aware of our campaign to highlight Asia Bibi's plight in their homeland.

"I am now calling on the US and Britain to grant Asia Bibi asylum in a show of strong solidarity. We know these nations are her and her family’s preferred destination and we believe she would be safe and warmly welcomed in both nations.

We also believe that irrespective of where the family end up, America and Britain should offer asylum in a bold stance against terrorism and extremism.

BPCA Chairman, Wilson Chowdhry, commented on the tragic account of Lara's captivity, he said:

"It is my firm opinion that Lara Hall is a survivor of a horrific grooming abuse; she suffered the worst kind of torturous existence in Pakistan in a case that reminds us that such acts of cruelty are not just enacted in Britain but in every western nation.

"What amazes me is the courage, tenacity and bravery she showed in getting herself out of a very precarious situation in Pakistan. The details in their entirety are horrifying but we have had to sanitise them to make them more palatable.

"We very much love having Lara on our team and she is shaping up to be a talented and passionate human rights activist who can speak with authority on these issues, having suffered through her own experience in Pakistan.

"We remain concerned about this kind of grooming behaviour and we fear that many other vulnerable kaffir (Islamic word for non-Muslims) women are being seduced and procured to go to Pakistan and other Asian countries on false pretences.

 

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"Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" By Nazir S Bhatti

On demand of our readers, I have decided to release E-Book version of "Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" on website of PCP which can also be viewed on website of Pakistan Christian Congress www.pakistanchristiancongress.org . You can read chapter wise by clicking tab on left handside of PDF format of E-Book.

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