This Article is From Nov 02, 2020

Pak Christian Girl, Converted And Married To 44-Year-Old, Sent To Shelter

The 13-year-old Christian girl was kidnapped, allegedly by Ali Azhar, a 44-year-old man, in Karachi. Human rights organizations have demanded justice to the girl.

Pak Christian Girl, Converted And Married To 44-Year-Old, Sent To Shelter

The man who kidnapped her prepared fake papers, her family said (Representational)

Islamabad:

The Sindh High Court on Sunday ordered that a teenage Christian girl who was kidnapped before being forcefully converted and married to a Muslim man be shifted to a shelter home, Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, said.

The 13-year-old Christian girl was kidnapped, allegedly by Ali Azhar, a 44-year-old man, in Karachi. Human rights organisations have demanded justice to the girl.

"The judge has ordered that the girl be recovered by police and relevant agencies and shifted to a shelter home. Next hearing fixed for Thursday morning [November 5]. My lawyer has informed the court that an intervener will be filed on my behalf," Ms Mazari wrote on Twitter.

The investigating officer in the case, Inspector Shariq Ahmed Siddiqui, had stated that the girl had appeared before the court.

He said he had called in the verification of the girl's B-form, which as per the National Database and Registration Authority, was genuine.

According to the first information report, the girl's father had alleged that on October 13, he and his wife were at work and their son had gone to school. The complainant said his three daughters, including the girl, were present at their home in Railway Colony when he received a call from a relative, who told him she was missing from the house, Dawn reported.

He said he reached home and contacted their neighbours, but could not trace his daughter. He subsequently lodged a case regarding the kidnapping of his daughter against unknown persons at the Frere police station.

Her family members earlier this month told Dawn that the accused, Azhar, lived in a house opposite theirs along with his family and was at least 45-years-old. The man "who abducted her has prepared fake papers to show that she is 18-years-old," her mother said.

Naveed Walter, president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), said girls from minority communities, particularly Christians and Hindus, are often targeted.

"Abduction, conversion and marrying – all happening the same day -- is a common practice in such cases and it has happened with this girl also, in the same sequence," he said.

The HRFP fact-finding team revealed that in proceedings of the Sindh High Court, dated October 27, all her records were altered. Her picture on legal documents had also been changed, as pointed out by her mother.

Police had registered a case against Syed Ali Azhar, and arrested his brothers, Syed Shariq Ali, Syed Mohsin Ali, and a friend, Danish, for allegedly kidnapping the girl and forcefully converting her.