Christian minor girl abducted, converted to Islam in Pakistan: Reports
Islamabad: A minor Christain girl has been kidnapped and forced to marry a 44-year-old man who made her convert to Islam, highlighting an incident which again showed the plight of minorities in Pakistan.
Arzoo Raja was abducted from her home in Karachi on October 13, and two days later her 'husband' produced a marriage certificate saying she was 18 and had converted to Islam, reports Daily Mail.
The case has led to protests in Karachi and Lahore but a Pakistani court has upheld the marriage after her husband claimed she had converted on her own free will, reported the British newspaper.
It has been alleged that the girl tried to run to her mother during the court hearing but the man held her hands tight and prevented her from making the move.
Arzoo's father Raja said that his daughter had been abducted from the family home in Karachi's Railway Colony after her parents went to work, reports Daily Mail.
When police contacted the family two days later they said that the 'husband' had already obtained a marriage certificate, according to a Christian group called the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), the British newspaper reported.
"Very often young girls are threatened into giving statements to the court saying they have married and converted to Islam of their own free will," CLAAS UK director Nasir Saeed was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
"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 marriage cases even in the higher courts," Saeed said.