FAISALABAD: A 15 years old Pakistani Christian girl has recently been abducted and forcibly converted to Islam from a village in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad in the province Punjab of Pakistan.
International Minorities Concern, a UK based advocacy group for minority rights, has learnt that the parents of the girl received a certificate of conversion from a local cleric.
Saleem Iqbal, a local Christian rights activist, that the parents of the girl do not believe that their daughter has accepted Islam of her own decision.
A police First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged against the alleged abduction and the forced conversion of the teenage Christian girl, though, the police have not as yet given the relief the parents of the 15 years old sought for in their complaint to the police.
According to the Movement for Solidarity and Peace in Pakistan (MSP) “cases of forced marriages and conversions can be distinguished by a specific pattern or process: Christian girls- usually between the ages of 12 and 25 – are abducted, converted to Islam, and married to the third party.
“The victim’s family files a First Information Report (FIR) for abduction or rape with the local police station. The abductor, on behalf the victim girl, files a counter FIR, condemning the Christian family of harassing the willfully converted and married and girl, and for conspiring convert girl back to Christianity.
“Upon production in the courts or before the magistrate, the victim girl is asked to testify whether she converted and married of her own free will or if she was abducted. In most cases, the girl remains in custody of the kidnapper while judicial proceedings are carried out. Upon the girl’s pronouncement that she willfully converted and consented to the marriage, the case is settled without relief for the family…” said MSP.
“The Christian girls and women are the proud daughters of Pakistan. It is the responsibility of the government to protect them from any kind of abuse, and take solid steps so that the incidents of rapes, domestic violence and forced conversion of Pakistani Christian women and other minority women cease from happening.”
said by chief executive of International Minorities Concern, a UK based advocacy group for minority rights.
Christian Times Pakistan also appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan and to the Chief Minister of Punjab to take notice of these kind of incidents to avoid them in future because in many ways the minorities of Pakistan sometimes feels so helpless although they are also Pakistanis.