In a recent speech in Punjab Assembly, Pakistani Christian politician Shunila Ruth spoke up against the cruel act of abduction and forceful conversion of a Pakistani Christian girl.
According to details, Sana Shahid was abducted by Waheed Akhtar when Sana was going to school with her friends in Sialkot. She was then forcibly converted to Islam and then married to Akhtar.
The marriage certificate claims the girl to be 18 years of age without mentioning her date of birth while according to the birth certificate, government of Punjab and birth certificate from the Catholic church, the date of birth of
Sana is April 17, 2002 which makes her 13 years of age at the time of the said marriage.
Sana’s parents are helpless and await the return of their daughter.
Ms. Ruth’s request to bring back the girl was heard in the assembly and an affirmation to further proceed the case was given.
Watch the video of her speech here:
Many Christian politicians and activists have condemned the case and are trying to mobilise the government to look at this case as a priority.
This is not the first of its kind case in Pakistan. According to a report by Aurat Foudation, every year about 1000 girls hailing from religious minorities are forcefully converted to Islam after forcibly given in marriage to Muslim men. Out of these 1000, about 700 are Christian women who fall victims to the gender based religious persecution. Last year, on October 16, Nabila Bibi was abducted from her home in Changa Manga by a man called Allah Rakha and forcibly converted to Islam and married to Allah Rakha. Nabila was already engaged to Sajid Masih. After the abduction, Nabila’s family tried to meet their daughter which Allah Rakha’s family and other Muslims refused. They threatened her family to drop the case and even went to Sajid Masih’s house to threaten him. However, before they arrived at Sajid’s house, he fled from his house.