Sialkot: Family of a 13-year-old Christian girl forcefully given in marriage to a Muslim, implores authorities for help

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Pakistani Christians

Dejected family of a 13-year-old, Christian girl victim of gender-based religious persecution implore the authorities to help them in setting the Christian teen free.

In keeping with details, a Christian teen resident of Haji Pura, near Silakot; was allegedly kidnapped by a 21-year-old, Muslim namely Waheed Akhtar who reportedly married her forcefully in order to convert her to Islam. Waheed Akhtar is adamant that she converted to Islam before marrying him.

On the other hand, Shahid John father of the victimized Christian teen, says, “I was shocked to hear the news. My legs were trembling when I heard what had happened. Hina (te victim’s sister) was accompanying her on her way back from school. Waheed Akhtar forcibly took her away. Hina came back to home and informed the family.

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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.”

In his statement to Fides, Shahid John said, “In Pakistan there is no justice for the poor and, above all, no one cares for Christians, no one has heard my cry. The police do not pursue the culprits; no one is doing anything for us.”

Since so many days have passed and no substantial progress has been made by police in recovering the girl from the custody of Waheed Akhtar, a Pakistani NGO “Life for All” in a note to sent to Fides stated that it has initiated an appeal in order to save the girl and make sure that she is returned to her family. The girl’s has been missing since the morning of 9 November, after she had left home for school.

Through “Life for All”, the girl’s family has launched an appeal to the authorities for justice. The NGO “Life for All” in an official statement regarding this case said, “These are frequent cases: influential people use their power in order not to get punished. Thousands of underage girls are abducted and forcibly converted each year. Cases are reported, but the courts and authorities turn a blind eye and the marginalized suffer. How long will we have to tolerate this injustice?”