In a ghastly incident, a 13-year-old Christian girl was abducted, converted to Islam, and married to a 44-year-old Muslim captor in Karachi, Pakistan.
The girl, identified as Arzoo Raja, was kidnapped from her home in Karachi’s Railway Colony on October 13 and forcibly converted to Islam. Thereafter, an FIR was registered at Singh court by her family.
However, two days later, the Sindh police summoned the victim’s family and informed them that the kidnapper (Azhar Ali) has produced a marriage certificate with the girl that displayed that she is aged 18 years. As per the report, the girl was forcibly converted to Islam and married to the man, who is already wedded with children.
Various Human rights organizations have demanded justice for the minor girl, who has been forcibly abducted and converted to Islam in Karachi. The president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), Naveed Walter said minority girls, particularly Christian and Hindu, are forcefully converted to Islam and married to Muslim men.
“Girls belonging to the Minority community get abducted, converted to Islam and married to Muslim men. In most cases, local police stations, where the victim’s family submits complaints about her missing, inform about her conversion to Islam and getting married to the same abductor. The same day’s abduction, conversion, and marrying is a common practice in such cases and has also happened with Arzoo in the same sequence,” said Naveed.
“The age of the girl is 13 and it is proved by her school record /certificate, NADRA’s B-form mentioning her DOB 31st July 2007 and Church register with same age but she is falsely presented as an adult in court including at conversion certificate of Madressah Jamia Islamia and marriage certificate with her new name Arzoo Fatima,” Naveed added.
According to the HRFP fact-finding team, citing 27 October 2020 proceedings of the Sindh High Court, the records of the girl were altered to make her appear as an 18-year-old. Additionally, the probe found that the girl’s photo was replaced on legal documents, a concern raised by her mother Rita.
Nonetheless, according to local media reports, the girl had accepted Islam willingly and did not claim to have been abducted or forced to marry.
Subsequently, the Sindh High Court in Pakistan ordered that the minor 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.