A Christian girl forced to convert to Islam by means of given in marriage to a Muslim.
In line with details, a Christian girl resident of Sialkot, has been purportedly forcefully married to Waheed Akhtar a 21-year-old, Muslim. The 13-year-old, was reportedly kidnapped from her house by Waheed Akhtar who claims that she had converted to Islam before marrying him.
Father of the victimized Christian teen, Shahid Jan says, “I was shocked to hear the news. My legs were trembling when I heard what had happened. Hina was accompanying Sana on her way back from school. Waheed Akhtar forcibly took her away. Hina came back to home and informed the family.
We went to Waheed Akhtar’s house, which is also in the vicinity. Waheed and his father are butchers by profession. They kept saying that Waheed will be back soon but when he did not turn up I went to police station and registered my complaint.”
The incident took place on November 9, when Waheed stormed inot Shahid Jan’s house and abducted the Christian girl. However, Shahid Jan lodged a police complaint against Waheed Akhtar in a local police station on the same day, the girl was kidnapped from her house. Waheed Akhtar has presented a marriage certificate (Nikhah namaa) acording to which the girl was his wife now.
The investigating officer, ASI Muhammad Ashraf told the media that the police had carried out few raids to recover the Christian teen from the custody of Waheed Akhtar, while further investigations are in progress. He said, “The lawyer of the accused has contacted us on phone and sent a written request as well. He has told us that they have got pre-arrest bails from the court and would join the investigation on Monday. The girl is 15 years old. She first converted to Islam and then married Waheed.”
ASI Muhammad Ashraf further told the media that the police was being very cooperative with the victimized Christian family. We immediately registered an FIR as per the statement of Shahid Jan, without any delay. “We hope we will get justice as this is a barbaric act and should be condemned by everyone. I trust my daughter and believe that she was forced to convert,” dejected Shahid Jan said.
Nonetheless, Shahid Jan claims that his daughter has been forcefully married to a Muslim as she is not an adult which makes this vile act illegal also. “She was born on April 17, 2002, which means that she cannot get married of her own free will. The age can be confirmed from NADRA as well as school record.”
Further more, William John, grandfather of the victim says, “This incident has the whole house disturbed. Think of how the other children are coping with this situation. It is bad that I am alive to witness this day. It should not have happened.”
This is not an unfamiliar incident in Pakistan, as gender based religious violence has reached to new heights in the country. According to a report by Aurat Foundation, every year at least 1000 girls from religious minorities are forcefully converted to Islam. Out of these 1000 unfortunate girls 700 are Christians the rest are Hindu.
Kidnapping Christian girls and forcefully marrying them to a Muslim is the most common procedure for forced conversion to Islam.