(NOTE: Names are withheld for the sake of the security of the affected family.)
ISLAMABAD: A Christian teen abducted allegedly forcibly converted to Islam.
As CIP has learned, a Christian family of a concealed background residing in Rawalpindi had reported that their 14-year old daughter went missing, allegedly by force converted to Islam and given in marriage to a Muslim boy; her school mate. However, unusually the alleged culprit who had abducted the girl has been booked by the police while the case is due for a hearing with a local court.
In line with details, a Christian girl who was reportedly student of O-levels disappeared as she never returned home after she went to school on December 2, 2013. Seeing her not returning home, the girl’s mother went to her school to look for her, however to her surprise her schoolmate Abdullah Shafi was also reported to have been missing. Latter on, the girl’s mother was informed that her daughter was with Abdullah Shafi and they had married after the girl had converted to Islam. Her family, on the other hand is insisting that the girl was abducted and forcibly converted and not willingly.
In the course of time, the mother of the Christian girl was threatened of terrible consequences if she approached police. Since the girl’s father was out of country on the day the incident happened the appalled mother did not disclose the story to anyone until her husband returned three days later. However, the family of Abdullah Shafi assured them that their daughter would be safely handed over to them, in order to keep them from approaching police. The girl’s father lodged an FIR against Abdullah Shafi as a consequence an FIR bearing number 225 dated December 8,2013 was registered under section 365-B of Pakistan Penal Code.
After the growing pressure by the girl’s family the police urged Abdullah’s family to present the girl and thus she was presented before a magistrate on December 13,2013. The eye witnesses report that the girl was presented accompanied by a group of armed men. Afterwards, the girl’s statement was recorded before the magistrate under section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code in which the girl confessed to have converted to Islam. Moreover, reportedly the girl admitted that she had contracted marriage with Abdullah Shafi. Despite her transparent confession before the magistrate sources say that she told her family when she met them in the court that she was pressurized to give a statement in favour of Abdullah Shafi.
As a surprise, she was sent to women police station, for a re-appearance before the same magistrate for recording her statement again as her family maintained that her earlier statement was as a result of threatening. Few days later on December 17, the girl who was presented before the same magistrate who had heard her before. This time round the girl denied her conversion to Islam and that she had married Abdullah Shafi. She stated that Abdullah told her that her mother was not well and that he would drop her home but later he abducted her. The magistrate allowed the girl to go with her family while they fear for their lives.
The girl’s defence council and a senior lawyer of Supreme Court of Pakistan, Illyas Siddiqui said: according to the Women Protection Act, the minimum age of a girl to take decisions at her own is 18; otherwise; she would be dealt by guardians. The girl was only 14 year old and the moment she was taken away from the school by Abdullah Shafi, it was an offence of abduction. Illyas Siddiqui went on to say: it is a case of forcible conversion to Islam, which is not an offence as it requires legislation. Abdullah Shafi, is in jail because the law has taken its course and that taking a minor away from a guardian is an act of abduction.