Lahore: May 10, 2018. (PCP) A Pakistani Christian girl of only 17 years was viciously beaten to death in Kamoke in the district of Gujranwala on 5th May 2018, for apparently not having completed her chores properly.
Kainat Salamat was working in the home of Muhammad Asif Gujjar (36 yrs) as a domestic helper from the age of 11 and frequently complained to her family about the brutality of her employers. However, the desperate family who were struggling to make ends meet asked her to bear the pain for the sake of easing the financial burden on the rest of them.
For many years she cleaned, cooked, gardened and acted like a nanny for the children of her employers. A requirement of the job was that she lived in the home of the Muslim family as a full-time servant available 24 hour a day.
Her family have said that her place of employment was only 15 minutes away from their home and that they would visit Kainat as often as they could, sometimes this would be twice a week other times they might not visit for a month or longer. One way or the other the impression our officer has gained about her existence is that it would have been one of depression and loneliness. Moreover, the family have intimated that often she would express a sense of low worth and a belief that her family did not love her. The parents argue that it was because they loved her and their other children that they put her to work so she would have regular clean clothes provided by her employers, good food and a clean and safe home.
Rather bizarrely, despite her many hours of work which would have amounted to a minimum of 12 hours, seven days a week, she would never get to spend any of her pitiful payment of 5000 rupees (£33). Instead every time she was paid her family would ask her to bring her wages to her family home for them to utilise in supporting the costs of their home. Needless to say her hard endeavours, which from the age of 11 included chores such as changing nappies and tending to children, expected of much older employees - gained little if anything for her personally.
On 6th May, Salamat Masih (45 yrs) the father of Kainat expressed in an FIR that on the same day he went to the house of Asif Gujjar in Wapda Town Gujranwala. He said that at around 2pm he and another relative arrived at the house of Mr Gujjar. When they entered the house they saw Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Kashif, Muhammad Tariq Pasran, Muhammad Ismael and wife of Muhammad Asif and another lady were torturing Kainat.
He told police that Asif Gujjar and his wife were seizing the legs of Kainat while Muhammad Kashif and Muhammad Tariq Pasran had grabbed her arms. He described how a rope had been tied around her neck and the attackers were trying to strangle her. Salamat Masih said that he begged the attackers not to kill his daughter but they did not pay any heed to his plea. in the FIR he said that the attackers killed Kainat in front of his eyes.
A First Information Report (FIR) number 344/18 was registered at Saddar Police Station in Gujranwala on 7th May. The FIR invoked sections 302, 147 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
When our officers arrived and met with the family on Monday 7th May the brother of Salamat Masih named Saleem Masih shared an alternative story. He explained that on 5th May, a call was received by
the mother of Kainat from Mr Gujjar calling or the mother and father of Kainat to rush to their home as Kainat had suffered a heart-attack and wanted to see them desperately.
Kainat's parents then immediately left the house to see their daughter, however, whilst on their journey they received another call from the driver of Kainat's employers, who told them that he was bringing Kainat to their home, which caused the parents to divert and return home.
When the driver arrived at the home of Kainat's family it was discovered that she was already dead. The driver explained to the family that Kainat had suffered a severe heart attack which had caused her death. The family started preparing for a funeral using a shroud and some money that had been sent by her employers who were described as 'grieving for Kainat'.
However, a family member concerned about marks on Kainat's corpse called the local police. During the ensuing police investigation rope marks were found around Kainat's neck, bruises were found on her cheeks, and wounds were located on her fingers and wrists.
Local Police confirmed that there were no signs of a heart attack and told the family that Kainat must have committed suicide or that she had been murdered. Kainat's corpse was taken to Civil Hospital Gujranwala for a post-mortem study where doctors also found evidence of rape on the teenager.
The uncle who is bemused by the treatment of his niece has told us, as soon as the parents discovered the allegations of rape and torture of their child they took the advice of a Christian NGO and registered the false FIR stating that the father had witnessed Kainat's murder.
The NGO officer then helped the family broker a deal for a Qisas and Diyat payment (legal bribe for exoneration for a crime) with the Gujjar family which was set at 700,000 rupees ,(£4487).
The family of Kainat Masih went to Saddar Police Station in Gujaranwala and formally accepted the bribe and received the payment of the 700,000 rupees, which has led to the cancellation of the police investigation and termination of the murder case. Our officer Usman Liaquat had reached the family before this deal was struck and his offers to pay for a legal representative to fight for justice for Kainat were ignored in favour of the cash payment.
Kainat was laid to rest yesterday on Monday 7th May and the last rites were performed in her village Kotli Debarey with around 30 visitors. Despite the 700.000 rupee windfall the family of Kainat spent little on her burial.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said: "Christian girls are too frequently placed into domestic servitude contracts from ages as young as 10. Many of these girls suffer cruel beatings and rape from depraved men and jealous wives.
"Powerful Muslim families often settle out of court by paying Qisas and Diyat bribes a legal 'get out of jail' payment that is enshrined in Sharia Law and adopted in Pakistan.
"It must be mentioned that in most cases Christian families only except the bribe after it is made obvious that justice will not be met through court procedure. This families particularly swift acceptance of a bribe may have been due to the alarming intervention from an officer of a rogue NGO who will have received a payment for his efforts.
"However, the shoddy parenting by this allegedly Christian family reveals an avarice that would require little persuasion to accept the bribe. A bribe that would no doubt have increased if they had pursued a legal case and shamed the Muslim masters who killed their daughter - their greed has limited their yield.
"I for one am heartbroken that so many Christian girls live miserable lives like this due to deprivation and poor understanding of Christian values by nominal Christian families. Churches in Pakistan are failing in the pastoral care and erudition of their congregations and we must pray for improved focus of God's word and truth in the existing establishments.