On August 3, an underage Pakistani Christian girl was abducted from her home at around midnight while she was studying. The incident took place in the Mubin Banda area in Ghazi tehsil in the Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
As per reports, the victim’s parents Noreen Maseeh and Francis Maseeh had filed a written complaint with the police on Wednesday (August 11). They informed that the girl was a student of Std 9 and was preparing for her exam when she went missing from the house at around 12:45 am. They have accused a local resident named Zulqarnain Zahid of orchestrating the abduction along with the son of a leader from the ruling PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) party.
The girl’s parents lamented that the PTI leader had assured the early return of the victim but did not keep his promise. Instead, he hurled abuses at them and asked to compromise. Noreen Maseeh, the mother of the Christian girl, said that she learnt about her daughter’s court marriage with her abductor on August 9. A local resident, named Akhtar Shah, had revealed that the girl had also converted to Islam. As per Maseeh, the girl was born on January 10, 2007, and thus only 14.6 years old.
Victim’s mother accuses the police of siding with the perpetrator
She informed, “My daughter is a minor child, who can’t be married off under the law. Noreen Maseeh alleged that the Ghazi police did not lodge a First Information Report (FIR) initially and also claimed that she eloped on her own, willingly converted to Islam to marry her perpetrator. She accused the cops of siding with the perpetrator and asking her to not pursue the case further. Noreen Maseeh had also demanded protection for her family members and relatives.
Ghazi police alleged that the complaint by the victim’s family was ‘ambiguous’
While speaking about the matter to Dawn, Station House Officer (Ghazi Police) Shafiqur Rehman claimed that the complaint was filed after 6 days of the abduction. He alleged that the complaint was ‘ambiguous as the couple did not name anyone directly. He claimed that the marriage was ‘solemnised’ in Swabi following the girl’s wilful conversion to Islam but conceded that he did not receive the documents. Rehman also alleged that the Christian couple was summoned to the police station thrice to name the accused in the case.
Nonetheless, the Ghazi police registered a case on August 11 and nabbed the accused and his father. They were booked under Section 365(B) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) for abducting the victim. The cops added that the girl was recovered while the accused and his father were arrested.
Court remands accused and his father to custody, sends victim to shelter home
On Thursday (August 12), a local court in the Swabi district sent the victim to a shelter home (Darul Aman). It had also remanded the accused and his father to jail. The verdict came after the police produced the girl before the Magistrate. The abducted 14-year-old Christian girl claimed that she had married the accused on her own accord without any force or temptation. Reportedly, she had also expressed her desire to stay with her ‘husband’.
The girl’s parents informed that the medical certificate, which claimed that the victim had attained puberty, was fake. According to the marriage certificate presented in court, the girl was married to the accused on August 7. Her dowry payment was fixed at PKR 4lac and four tolas of gold. She is slated to receive PKR 15,000 in the case of a marital dispute.
Father of four abducts and marries 13-year-old Christian employee
In yet another case of religious persecution and sexual crimes against children, a 13-year-old Pakistani Christian girl Nayab Gill was abducted from Gujranwala Division located in Punjab, Pakistan, forcibly converted to Islam and married to an already married Muslim man who is a father of four girls. The incident took place in May this year.
A video clip of her shattered and helpless parents had surfaced on social media, wherein they narrated their plight and pleaded for justice. The clip was shared by the Twitter handle Voice for Pakistan Minority on June 21. In the 2.16-minute video clip, the distressed mother and the father narrated how a man named Saddam deceived them on the pretext of offering their minor child a job and abducted her.
He then brainwashed and converted her to Islam. Saddam, who already has three wives and four children, thereafter performed ‘Nikah’ with the 13-year-old Nayab Gill. The Pakistan court, on the other hand, without hearing the victim family’s plea or looking into the victim’s birth certificate, which clearly indicated the Nayab Gill was a minor, sent the teenager with her abductor.