A Pakistani court has ordered that a Christian teenage girl, who was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam after being made to marry a Muslim man in February, be handed over to her parents. Shalat Masih, 14, was produced by police at Lahore High Court, She had been bducted from Faisalabad and later sold to a Muslim man.
After forcibly converting her to Islam, a man called Zafar Iqbal married the underage girl who was renamed Ayesha.
During the hearing, Justice Tariq Saleem Shaikh ordered the girl be handed back to her parents.
In a similar case last month, two Hindu sisters were allegedly kidnapped by a group of “influential” men from their home in Ghotki district in Sindh. Nasir Saeed, Director CLAAS-UK said justice has not been done.
“Handing the kidnapped girl back to their parents is not enough – the perpetrators have to be brought to justice.
“It is important to punish all those who were involved in kidnapping, selling, and then forcibly converting her to Islam.
“Kidnapping, rape and forced conversion of Christian and Hindu girls has been going on for a long time, but unfortunately government institutions are not paying any attention.”
Nasir Saeed further said the Government must take this matter seriously and legislate to stop the ongoing forced conversion of the Christian and Hindu girls in Pakistan.
Abducted, raped and forced into Islamic marriage 15 YO Shalet has now been rescued and has given testimony of her ordeal!
Escapee Shalet has boldly spoken about her ordeal in court.
A 15 year old Christian victim of the latest forced Islamic marriage incident to rock Pakistan has been rescued from her captor and has given testimony to her ordeal.
This morning (10th April 2019) at 3am a ‘planned’ police raid at an undisclosed home in Faisalabad enabled young Shalet Javed to escape the clutches of Muslim rapist Zafar Iqbal. Due to a police bungle Zafar managed to escape arrest by fleeing the scene of the crime before their arrival.
On March 25th of this year Shalet Javed left her family home in Dhandra, Faisalabad after an altercation with her sibling. Shalet didn’t wander the streets aimlessly. She headed straight to the house of a trusted family friend, Goshi (36 yrs) around two miles away. Goshi was so near and dear to Shalet’s heart that she considered her an aunt. The entire family considered Goshi to be a relative and they all trusted her.
Shalet was then sold into sexual slavery to an unknown Muslim man who had the audacity to serve papers of his forced marraige to the family of Shalet. Although police initially refused to get investigate the crime despite the marriage papers being proved fraudulent and known sexual traffickers being implicated, they eventually registered an FIR after pressure from the BPCA and other NGO’s. Read full original account (here)
Prior news of the impending police raid was leaked to Zafar Iqbal and his cohorts which led to their quick exit from the home in which she was captive. Police teams arrived a little after their escape, however in their panic to escape the abductors lost sight of Shalet who slipped away and ran to safety. Shalet then managed to contact her parents through the phone number of an unnamed local resident. On receiving the call parents Tasleem and Javed Masih rushed across to the location of Shalet and immediately took custody of their dishevelled daughter .
Lawyer Chaudhry Abdul Rasheed later today at 10am, then presented Shalet in the High Court of Lahore, where she bravely testified directly to the judge that she wanted to return to her parents.
She has also put it on record that she was coerced into converting to Islam, whilst under the duress of her captors who were beating and torturing her.
Shalet described her ordeal to the judge explaining how she has been forcefully raped several times by her abductor and suffered torture and brutality whilst in captivity. She thought that her life was forfeit until she saw her opportunity to escape.
In a conversation with Mehwish Bhatti lead officer for BPCA Pakistan, she said:
“I never gave up hope entirely, I kept praying to God and beseeched Him to release me from my degrading captivity.
“God answered my prayers and now I am back with my mum and dad – I am so grateful to God.
“I was violated and abused by my captor but he has not broken my spirit, I spoke in court and will testify again and again till the monster is jailed – he should not be allowed to do this to anyone else ever again.”
An FIR has already been lodged against the culprits involved in the kidnap of Shalet, but none of them have been arrested yet.
Chaudhry Rasheed has demanded that a statement from Shalet is recorded before an Investigative officer privately and that she undergoes and immediate medical examination, however this has not yet been undertaken. He has also demanded a similar statement be recorded before the court magistrate.
Wilson Chowdhry, President of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
“The shameful capture of Shalet with the potential involvement of family friends is a poor indictment on Pakistani Society.
“Shalet was sold into sexual slavery because she made herself vulnerable during an argument with her brother when she ran away from home.
“At the age of 15 she has suffered some extremely degrading and frightening experiences and she will need good counsel to help her rehabilitate.
“If this case is won by Shalet it will prove once and for all that releasing captured girls from the clutches of their Muslim rapists reveals the truth of their ordeal.
“It will bring to an end the awful Muslim insinuation that Christian girls willingly convert and marry men much older than them and shoukd be a test case that hails in new more favourable marriage laws in Pakistan that protect minority girls.
“Her reliance on God and her faith through such adversity are a testament to us all.
“Her fight for justice will be a long one no doubt and we must all pray and help where we can to bring justice into this situation.”
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