Kind regards from Pakistan?
Even if some remarkable people who crossed your life will inhabit your spirit for the rest of your existence, with the time going on, remembrances of places visited are inexorably fading. That’s the reason why I would like to present the unusual relation I got with Pakistan. Almost one year after I came back from a summer trip in this country, it unsuspectedly invaded my life for already 15 months. It is such an intense experience that it may replace all other impressions I kept from my wonderful and actual stay, there.
Shangri La, the valley of Eden
I traveled to Hunza and Chapursan Valley, at Pakistani borders with Afghanistan and China, during summer 2018. Like all external visitors, I enjoyed the pristine nature and the outstanding sceneries which were a pure delight. I was amazed by the kindness and the education of the inhabitants so different from the global image Pakistan has abroad. In Sost and in Chapursan Valley, I staid in Pamir Serai guest–houses (light version of Pamir Serai website). I had to report about these wonders. I made numerous photographies and wrote articles about what I observed. Part was in French. Part was in English. Some of them were just shown on my blogs. Others were published on local medias (Passu Times, Pamir Times) and on a French one (Agoravox). I recently decided to also share the English papers on “Medium” to enhance their international sharing and to help people, interested with planning travels in the Karakoram region. These are “High Asia, stories of the Karakoram”.
Angels and Demon of the Black Mountain
It is said the medal has a reverse side. In May 2019, I was alerted by a guest house owner from Reshit, Chapursan Valley, about the content of a public Facebook page. There, I could read strong warnings about Wakhi people and especially the ones of Chapursan Valley. Their self-called whistleblower was an outsider, a woman from Karachi, who moved a couple of years ago, to Upper Hunza Valley. She pretended there was a conspiracy from local guides and travel domestic agents with foreign male travelers for abusing resident women and sexually attacking all single female travellers in Chapursan Valley. I questioned my personal local impressions. Have I been lured? Could I become responsible for sending innocent people to a dangerous remote trap?
While I analysed them, the alarming publications became suspect. I eventually observed numerous plagiarism of traditions and legends. The result was a sort of sinister Bollywood soap opera scenario, where facts were replaced by a somewhat “litterature.” It had all of the ingredients: gods, saints, sins, croks, dragons, sex, violences, lies,crime, love, passions, scandals, hatred, vendettas, exoticism, ghosts...
However, there was still a question. Why was this fiction presented as a true personal experience by the “writer”? I had to go through the prolific production of this female “author” to understand she was a local resident of mountainous Hunza coming from distant lowlands. She was facing physical and mental disorders. But, mostly, she was unsuccessful in her sentimental life. Her academical or glamorous and trendy models failed matching the reality. Then, what was presented as a security notice for travelers prove to be, actually, a “vendetta” of an unusual scale against a minority from a different ethnicity and religion. It resulted from her disillusion regarding local people and from her xenophobia regarding western people. The more I entered into the subject, the more I had the feeling to see an Asian version of the French Myriam Badaoui, the community accuser and child abuser of the infamous Outreau trial.
The road to hell
On my travel blog, I made a public report about my findings. I was fearing the development of some religious, ethnic and xenophobic tensions, as it happened in Swat, a valley not so far from the Chapursan one. I sent my notes with a letter to the French embassy in Islamabad and to the Pakistani embassy in Paris. The situation could become a risk for foreign and especially French travelers if the female agitator and propagandist was successful.
Soon, detailed testimonies about child maltreatment by the above “whistleblower” started to be written as comments at the bottom of this paper. They came from people I never met with, with whom I had no personal communications and whose I don’t even know the name.
It is how I entered into troubled waters. The instable author turned into a determined stalker. I was defamed on her Facebook pages, where she added new chapters of her dark tale. I was bullied in the review module of my professional pages. I was harassed and provocated with slanders in my personal mail box. The list of my clients was shared with recommendation, for her followers, to call them and “explain” how a criminal person I was. This was a disturbing situation. It became more complicated when this person moved to Twitter and also spread calumnious denunciations to authorities, NGO’s and personalities. Though, it was a situation where there was a lot to learn, for someone who always evoluted in a rational sphere, it became hard to stand.
I filed a complaint at my city High Court for the Public Prosecutor. I got the support of the Governmental French National Agency against harassment. I sent a Formal Demand Notice to my tormentor. She rejected it. After more than 1000 abusive tweets, in February, 2020, I got the stalker account, suspended for impersonation and harassment.
Immediately, an old account was re-activated by this Pakistani malevolant twitter user to continue the campaign. She was even asking for the support of the white-supremacist French far-right.
After a one month suspension, Twitter re-activated the main cybercriminal account, making public again all the previously posted harassment, defamation and calumnious denunciation. The stalker was back on her main account on March 27, 2020, with still a twitter ID and a bio where she was abusing my name (still the case as of September 2020).
There is not much we can do.
Having problems on Twitter was something very new for me. The case was quickly more complex than a classic bullying case. In France, lawyers say the stalker would live in our country, I could get a summary judgement with a fine and even a jail sentence in case of offender relapse. The tormentor would be in the US or in Europe, I could also reasonably get this nuisance stopped. The abuser being based in Pakistan, French justice can not do anything. On the indications of a Pakistani journalist, I sent a complaint to the Pakistani Federal Investigation Agency for Cyber-crimes. They anwered me that, while I was a French citizen, living in France, they will not do anything against the tormentor. The stalker enjoys an obvious judicial loophole.
If you decide to write sincerely about a country like Pakistan but you are not ready to face this kind of situation, think twice.
The female stalker is not limited to Facebook and Twitter. We can read a comment “alert” on Alex Reynold’s travel blog “Lost on Purpose”, where the stalker still pretends being a tourist.
She published an article on “Medium” against the family and the Chapursan Valley community under her attacks, again posing as a tourist. Fortunately, I obtained this paper being removed by “Medium” moderators.
She also published two article against me on Medium. They were so excessive that they were flushed quickly. Eventually all of her Medium blog was completely removed while she used to sell her illegal medicine against COVID19. But that’s not all.
She made a website on blogger under https://gruaabusearkive.blogspot.com whith my profile picture. It was blasted under impersonation, too.
She created a web site usurping the identity of the guesthouse of the family she wants to revenge of. She placed a defamatory warning as a repellent against visitors in order to cut the subsistance of this Wakhi family. The case is still pending.
We, thus, see the example of a false tourist emitting, on various supports, detailed and alarming defamatory opinions concerning the conditions of reception of foreign visitors in North of Pakistan. This toxic nuisance should be erraticated. It is time local communities and Pakistani cybercrime agencies take care of the issue. Meanwhile, as warned in the Formal Demand Notice, which was rejected, I decided to apply a reciprocity policy. In other words, the stalker is exposed to endure all that she is using against her victims. The Mayor and the Police of Nantes, my city, are regularly spammed by calumnious denunciations from this person. They have been informed of my decision regarding sanctions and reciprocity against the tormentor, while this is the only card left.