Maryam Khalid, sixteen years old girl belonged to a poor Christian family. She had been living with her family in the district Faisalabad. Her father is a laborer while her mother is a domestic worker. One day Maryam went out to see her friend in the neighbouring house, while she was on her way, Shahid Ashiq (a Muslim landlord of Faisalabad) with one of his friend abducted her. Later forcibly converted and married off her to his Muslim friend Moazzam.
Naveed Walter , President of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) said that the government of Pakistan’s measures for the protection of the minorities are really weak. Mr. Naveed Walter lamented over, no action is taken by legal authorities against both primary culprits Shahid and Moazzam even after registration of FIR.
Further, he demanded on behalf of Civil Society of Pakistan, to end persecution against religious minorities. Particularly kidnappings, conversions and forceful marriages of minority girls in Pakistan must be noticed by the government. Naveed Walter stressed on the need “Strengthened Legal and Policy FrameWork” against religious minorities of Pakistan. He expressed that it is an inhuman and illegal act and the culprits should be arrested and the victim girl should be recovered as soon as possible.
Parents of victimized abducted girl shared that heartbreaking incident occurred on 19th August, 2017. Naveed Walter shared that (HRFP) is providing legal aid with advocacy, financial and moral support for justice. They are hopeful for safe return of Maryam Khalid to her family. Further he said that Government Authorities should provide security to family of Maryam Khalid because they are facing life threats of abduction of other women and girls of their family if they don’t withdraw the case proceedings in District and Session Court, Faisalabad and in Lahore High Court. “These very rooted elements of discrimination, violence and intimidation must be stopped”, said Mr. Naveed Walter.
Last month another 12-year-old Christian girl named Mishal Masih was kidnapped and raped by three men. Mishal is a student of 6th standard. Masih’s mother said that the police took no action against the perpetrators and even the FIR is not being registered.
Like these many cases are filed but minorities are not given justice.