A Christian family faces possible retribution as religious zealots try to hunt them down. In keeping with details, Saima (real name withheld for the sake of security) converted to Christianity back in 1990s and few years after married a Christian man namely Abid Masih. Her conversion brewed indignation; as a result of which Saima’s family threatened to kill Abid Masih.
The threats compelled the Christian convert, her husband to flee and take refuge in an undisclosed location. Meanwhile, Saima’s family started threatening Abid’s parents. Saima’s family warned Abid’s father to bring her back and hand her over to them.
Saima, her husband and their year-old daughter remained in hiding for years. The dejected family was provided with legal assistance by LEAD (Legal Evangelical Association Development). Lead head, Sardar Mushtaq Gill confirmed that after her marriage with Abid, Saima’s family found out about her conversion.
In 2013, Saima’s family initiated a retribution campaign. Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill confirmed that vexed relatives of Saima had also threatened other family members of Abid. In 2013, Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill confirmed that: “They have also threatened to kidnap her husband’s sisters and kill the couple and other relatives.”
The Christian family is once again receiving threats from the family of Saima. Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill detailing the incident told CIP that the family is imperiled. He said that the Christian family has received new threats. Abid was threatened to divorce Saima in a day’s time, or else his sister would be abducted.
Sharing his views with CIP, Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill stated: “The State must protect and save them, or the victim family will soon be abducted. This is a case of intolerance of faith. Marriage is a sacrament between two persons,” he said adding that their marriage should have been accepted by Saima’s family.
He urged the government of Pakistan to take notice of the incident and provide Abid and his family adequate protection. He said that in case the state fails to secure the family, it will be hard for the family to survive.