Home / Opinion / 13-Year old Christian girl kidnapped in Pakistan, 44 -years old man converted to religion and married
Abduction and child marriage is a serious crime and violation of human rights
Abduction and child marriage is a serious crime and violation of human rights

13-Year old Christian girl kidnapped in Pakistan, 44 -years old man converted to religion and married

By SABEEN SHEIKH ABID

Abduction and child marriage is a serious crime and violation of human rights
Over the years, the laws applicable to rights of religious minorities in Pakistan have shifted from being neutral to blatantly discriminatory. Incident of religious atrocities on Christian, Hindu, Sikh, and other minorities living in Pakistan continue to increase. Recently, A 13-year-old Christian girl, Arzoo Raja, was kidnapped by a middle aged 44 years old man in Karachi. After which he forcibly converted the girl and married her. Not only this, but the accused also got a fake marriage certificate stating that the girl is 18 years old to escape from the police. It said that this girl is 18 years old and accepted Islam on her own free will. Arzoo tried to run to her mother during the court hearing but her husband held her in a tight grip to stop her from leaving. Very often young girls are threatened into giving statements to the court saying they are married and converted to Islam of their own free will. Arzoo allegedly had her name changed to Arzoo Fatima. The girl’s family members also approached the court regarding the case and custody of their girl but were not relieved.
The court did not help the girl’s parents. Pakistan court refused to give any order against this marriage. The court said that according to husband of the girl. She has done this marriage of her own accord. Therefore, we cannot eliminate it. This is also said that the girl tried to go to court with her mother, but her husband forced her to stay with him. Just look at the forest blind system in Pakistan, the court, police, and whole system helped that man who kidnapped 13-year young girl instead of poor and hopeless parents. Disgraceful, no words. We should strongly condemn this cruel act.
This is not the first incident in Pakistan, infamous for atrocities on minorities. According to report, there are numerous cases where girls being forcibly converted to Islam on large scale in Pakistan. The discrimination against women is worse no matter which culture and religion they belong to, they become victim of rape, abduction, forced marriage and forced conversion. That It is largely underage girls who are converting to Islam speaks volumes of vulnerability of converts, and the motivation of those behind the conversion.
According to the human rights organization movement for solidarity and Peace, more than 1000Christian and Hindu women or girls are abducted every year in Pakistan. After which they are converted into Islamic rituals. Most of victims are aged between 12year to 25year.The human rights body also said that the figures could be even higher as the police do not register most cases. Most of girls who are abducted are associated with the poor families. Who does not able to take actions?
MY heart is crying out for this innocent young girl. Who is abducted from her family for rest of her life? And 44-year-old man, even older than his father aged married her forcefully. This little girl childhood is ruined now. She shall not be able to go back, will never allow to meet her parents. Probably will be living like second class citizen in this current house like a servant. In my opinion this is highest level of cruelty anyone can do. Child marriage robs these little girls of their childhood, education, health, and freedom and can leave girls vulnerable to abuse for the rest of their lives. Child marriage is a fundamental violation of a girl’s rights. Protests have also taken place in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore after the case surfaced. But Pakistan court has upheld the marriage after her husband claimed. She had converted of her own free well. Now questions are arisen here, how to stop these sickening, rotten cultural traits, and norms from our society? When and how to eradicate filthy cruel practices from this society? Who is responsible to stop these monsters? Before this society falling apart and these monsters will take over completely to use and abuse women and girls. It is shame even media does not highlight this news, until huge protests have taken place in Pakistan every woman came out from their houses to protest this serous crime and violation of human rights. But no one seems to take a notice as usual. I would encourage, please do not stop raised the voice until deaf system ear drum get bust. Despite of which religion you belong to. As every religion should have equal, fair rights to live with freedom in Pakistan.
It is an overly sensitive and complex matter in Pakistan but sadly it is all falling on the deaf ears of the politicians and authorities. It is sad as the Pakistani police and courts have failed to respect their own laws, as well international standards. Which are continuing to be ignored especially in forced conversion and forced marriages cases. Judiciary system of Pakistan is weak in front such a fundamental group and these groups are becoming more powerful day by day. As Pakistan’s system failed to take any serious actions against them. The fact that the default legal system in Pakistan is discriminatory, particularly towards women. That is why urgently requires positive legislation to safeguard vulnerable citizen.
Who to blame not sure, traditional customs and religious views means some families believe they should marry off their daughters once they reach to puberty? Low level of education and awareness are also described as both a cause and consequences of child marriage forced marriage /violation of human rights in Pakistan. Pakistan government should try to crack down on force conversion ,abduction and Child marriage by setting very firm laws and legislation.
Pakistan has failed to comply with its international obligations to protect non-Muslim women and girls from exploitation by powerful groups and criminal elements. It sends a chilling message to our most vulnerable people that their girls are not safe.

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