Kasur: A Christian teenager forcefully given in marriage to a Muslim after being abducted

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gender based violence in Pakistan

A Pakistan teenage girl kidnapped by a gang of Muslims, in a village of district Kasur in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

News is that 15-year-old, Saima Bibi was kidnapped by a gang of Muslim men, who allegedly wanted to convert her to Islam against her will. Saima is resident of same village where a Christians couple Shahzad and Shama had been lynched by a mob on blasphemy accusations.

Saima was forcefully given in marriage to one of the captors in order to convert her to Islam compellingly. While speaking in this regard, brother of the victim, Riaz Masih said, “We have been told that she has married after converting to Islam with a Muslim man Tanvir, her kidnapper.” He went on to say, “My sister is 15- years- old. We have her birth certificate, which will be produced before the court.”

He said that they have filed a police complaint against the alleged kidnappers. He said that he is hopeful that by providing Saima’s birth certificate in the court; as the legal marriage for girls is 16.

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Police claims that Saima Bibi had already converted to Islam as she had been married to a Muslim. Moreover, the police officials presented the documents which prove that marriage was legal. “We will produce the couple before a local court, where the girl can testify whether she was kidnapped or willingly married the Muslim man,” a police official said.

A Christian charity CARITAS Pakistan has been closely monitoring the case. Father Joseph Louis- Executive Secretary of Caritas Pakistan, has termed this heinous attack as an attack on the religious freedom. “This is unacceptable, we totally condemn this. We demand that courts give justice to the affected family.”

The trend of girls from Christian and Muslim communities being abducted and forcefully converted to Islam by given in marriage to Muslim men has been on the rise. AURAAT Foundation presented a report which portrayed a dire situation where about 1000 girls from religious minorities are being abducted annually. Out of these about 700 girls are from Christian community.