The 13-year-old girl has been rescued by the police after she was forcibly converted and married to a Muslim man in Pakistan.
Minorities in Pakistan demanded justice for a 13-year-old Christian girl, who was abducted by a 44-year-old man from Karachi, Pakistan. She was forced to convert to Islam and was later forcibly married to her abductor.
Various human rights organisations have demanded justice for Arzoo Raja. Her abductor has been identified as Ali Azhar. In Pakistan, the minorities are often forced to convert and marry Muslim men, said Naveed Walter, president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP).
Kidnapping, conversion common in Pak
The abduction of mostly Hindu and Christian girls in Pakistan is common, said Walter. It is the local police stations where the victim's family submits the complaints about her missing, that informs about the girl getting converted to Islam and then getting married to the same abductor.
Naveed said that the same day kidnapping, conversion and marrying is a common scenario in Pakistan. The HRFP fact-finding team stated that Arzoo's facts were altered like age, will to convert and marry in proceedings of Sindh High Court dated October 27, 2020.
The picture of Arzoo was replaced on legal documents. Walter added, "In court premises, Arzoo was denied to meet her mother as she was stopped by Ali Azhar."
Walter added that Arzoo's school certificate states her age to be 13 years and her date of birth being July 31, 2007. She was falsely presented as an adult in court, including at conversion certificate of Madressah Jamia Islamia and marriage certificate with her new name Arzoo Faatima.
No hope for minorities in Pak
London-based Anila Gulzar, spokeswoman for Justice for Minorities in Pakistan, slammed a judge who ruled that Arzoo Raja could make her own decision as she was capable of doing so.
She said that in Pakistan, minorities have no place and are not secure. Law states that there is a punishment of three years for those who are involved in forced and underage marriages. But, strangely the judge hearing the case ruled that Arzoo Raja was old enough to make her own decision.
Gulzar said that there is no justice for minorities in Pakistan even in courts.