Thursday, January 21, 2021
Home News Reports Pakistan: Christian teen Maria Shahbaz, abducted by a Muslim man, flees into hiding with...

Pakistan: Christian teen Maria Shahbaz, abducted by a Muslim man, flees into hiding with family after court ordered her to go back to her abductor

Even though marriage to a minor child is a punishable offence under the Child Marriage Restraint Act, Naqash was granted relief by Judge Raja Muhammad Shahid Abbasi of the Lahore High Court.

Three weeks after the Lahore High Court ordered a minor Christian girl Maria Shahbaz to return to the ‘custody’ of her abductor and ‘husband’ Muhammed Naqash, the 14-year-old girl had reportedly gone into hiding with her family in Faisalabad in Pakistan.

Maria had fled with her mother and three siblings. The development came at the backdrop of a recent ruling by the Lahore High Court which overturned the verdict of the Faisalabad District and Sessions Court to put the minor girl in a women’s shelter home, Dar ul Aman.

Confirming the development, journalist Sachin Jose tweeted, “14 year old Pakistani Christian girl Maria Shahbaz has escaped from the home of her abductor, Mohamad Nakash. While in custody she refused to renounce her Catholic faith. Maria’s family has filed a police complaint against her abductor.”

The case of Maria Shahbaz

She was abducted by one Mohammed Naqash on April 28, 2020. The 14-year-old girl was then drugged, raped, forcefully converted to Islam and married off to her perpetrator. Eye witness accounts by Pervez Masih, Younas Masih, and Naeem Masih state that Maria was forcibly abducted in a car while she resisted. The men were armed and therefore the eyewitnesses could not help the victim. The accused also fired shots in the air.

Reportedly, she was forced to sign blank papers which were later used by Naqash to procure fake marriage and conversion certificates. Maria was forced into silence by the abductor with threats of releasing her ‘rape video’ on social media. “They threatened to murder my whole family. My life was at stake in the hands of the accused and Nakash repeatedly raped me forcefully,” Maria had confessed.

Fake marriage certificate produced by the abductor

In the forged marriage certificate, Naqash had listed the age of the victim as 19. However, Maria’s parents had produced her birth certificate and other key documents to the Faisalabad court, proving that she is a minor. Moreover, there are other discrepancies in the marriage certificate. As per the report, the certificate named one ‘Islamic cleric’ who denied having anything to do with the said marriage.

Even though marriage to a minor child is a punishable offence under the Child Marriage Restraint Act, Naqash was granted relief by Judge Raja Muhammad Shahid Abbasi of the Lahore High Court. As a part of the modus operandi, a typed statement that she had left her home willingly was also produced.

ACN gets in touch with Maria’s lawyer

“Maria is traumatized. She cannot speak. We want to take her to the doctor, but we are afraid we might be spotted. We are all very frightened, but we place our trust in God,” Lala Robin Daniel, a family friend of Maria, was quoted as saying to ACN (Aid to the Church in Need).

The Christian organisation had also got in touch with Maria’s lawyer, Khalil Tahir Sandhu and received a copy of her statement to the police. While Sandhu had sought the arrest of Naqash for sex crime and cancellation of marriage certificate, the accused has demanded the arrest of Maria’s family for supposedly ‘kidnapping the girl’ and taking her away from him.

Human rights activists demand enforcement of law to protect religious minorities

According to human rights activist Suneel Malik, the case of Maria Shahbaz exposed the ‘wicked tactics’ employed by abductors to solicit favourable statements from the victims in Pakistani courts. “Authorities must bring these perpetrators to justice without any further delay. The government must also enact and enforce a law that protects minority women from forced conversions and forced marriages,” he was quoted as saying.

Speaking on the case of Maria Shahbaz, regional manager of ICC William Stark noted that there are ‘real’ threats to the safety and security of the victim and her family. He emphasised, “We are also deeply disappointed by the High Court’s decision to return Maira to the custody of her abductor. This has placed Maira’s safety at risk and is likely why she and her family have gone into hiding. Besides, Stark reiterated that the State of Pakistan must ‘combat’ the menacing issues of forced conversions, marriages, and kidnapping. “For too long perpetrators have used the issue of religion to justify their crimes against Pakistan’s religious minorities,” he concluded.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

 

Related Articles

Trending now

How Indian Railways came to the rescue of a pregnant woman who slipped and injured herself: Read details

In just one hour of Ravi's tweet, the Indian Railways managed to get medical assistance for his pregnant wife.

Reuters’ ‘First Dogs’ video after Trump leaves White House is quite racist, especially towards India and Japan

Reuters could have used literally any other clip of Trump while speaking about dogs in White House

On Sushant Singh Rajput’s birth anniversary, Kangana Ranaut tweets chronology of his ‘murder’

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut on Thursday in a series of tweets alleged that Sushant Singh Rajput was murdered and put up a chronology that led to his death.

Hours after Biden took oath as the US President, China slaps sanctions on several officials of Trump administration

The outgoing Trump administration had said that China was committing atrocities on Uyghur Muslims.

Pakistan ‘successfully’ test-fires missile injuring people, destroying houses in civil area, say Baloch leaders

Contrary to claims of Pakistani Army's successful tests of Shaheen-III Missile, several reports coming from Pakistan suggests that the test carried out by Pakistan was a massive failure as the missile landed in a civilian area in Balochistan destroying several houses and injuring civilians

On his birth anniversary, Sushant Singh Rajput’s sister announces scholarship in his name at UC Berkeley. Read details

Along with being an actor, Sushant Singh Rajput was National Physics Olympiad winner and had a passion for astronomy and astrophysics.

Recently Popular

Arnab vs Navika: Arnab responds to Navika’s emotional monologue, says he carried his shoes with him

Recently, Navika Kumar said that when Arnab left Time Now, she had his shoes to fill. However, Arnab gives a befitting reply.

The hidden chats in the TRP Chargesheet that nobody is talking about, not even the police: India Today and BARC

In the TRP case chargesheet, pages of personal chats between Arnab Goswami and the ex-BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta have been added

‘Jack Ma is safe and sound’, is ‘laying low’ claims founder and chairman of equity firm Primavera Capital Group

Days after his unflattering opinion of the Chinese authorities, Alibaba founder Jack Ma went mysteriously missing

“Not forgetting this communication until death”: Chef turned filmmaker Vikas Khanna reveals how he was asked to pay for favourable reviews of his movie

Vikas Khanna stated that critics had asked him to pay 3 lacs for 3 star-rating and 4 lacks for 4 star-rating of his movie 'The Last Colour'

Has China constructed a new village inside Arunachal Pradesh? Not quite: How NDTV misled with its ‘exclusive’ report

Report China building a village inside Arunachal Pradesh was bought out by NDTV yesterday - and it turned out to be fake news

‘Comedian’ uses Kashmiri Pandit genocide to peddle propaganda about Munawar Faruqui

Samay Raina posted a tweet trivialising the horrors faced by exiled Kashmiri Pandits to oppose incarceration of Munawar Faruqui
- Advertisement -

 

Kangana Ranaut pens a heartfelt note for Sushant Singh Rajput on his birth anniversary, calls out movie mafia

Kangana Ranaut wrote that she regretted not being there to help Sushant Singh Rajput when he needed help against movie mafia

How Indian Railways came to the rescue of a pregnant woman who slipped and injured herself: Read details

In just one hour of Ravi's tweet, the Indian Railways managed to get medical assistance for his pregnant wife.

‘Why was Gabbar punished?’ UP Police’s COVID awareness tweet goes viral

UP Police shared a 'Sholay' video to spread awareness against spitting in the open.

Restaurants and retailers in South Delhi will now have to mandatorily display whether they are selling Halal or Jhatka meat

SDMC opines that it should be the prerogative of all Hindus and Sikhs to know whether they are being served Halal or Jhatka meat

Reuters’ ‘First Dogs’ video after Trump leaves White House is quite racist, especially towards India and Japan

Reuters could have used literally any other clip of Trump while speaking about dogs in White House

UP Police takes Bihar’s RJD MLA’s case, ‘protestors’ en route to Delhi had to return home

UP Police said that as section 144 is in force, protest marches will not be allowed.

On Sushant Singh Rajput’s birth anniversary, Kangana Ranaut tweets chronology of his ‘murder’

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut on Thursday in a series of tweets alleged that Sushant Singh Rajput was murdered and put up a chronology that led to his death.

US Ambassador to Israel’s Twitter handle includes ‘West Bank and Gaza’ briefly, reverts 2 hours later

“There is no country of West Bank or Gaza, only territories that Israel has been willing for decades to negotiate sovereignty over but has been met with only hostility and terrorism,” said Republican Senator Rick Scott.

SENSEX crosses 50,000 mark for the first time in history, Nifty nears 15000

This is also the fastest 10,000 point climb for the SENSEX.

Hours after Biden took oath as the US President, China slaps sanctions on several officials of Trump administration

The outgoing Trump administration had said that China was committing atrocities on Uyghur Muslims.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
22,800SubscribersSubscribe