HRFP welcomes the arrest to abductor of Arzoo Raja, a Christian girl forcibly converted & married


Karachi: Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) welcomes the arrest to Ali Azhar an abductor of Arzoo Raja a Christian girl was abducted in Karachi on 13th October 2020 and her parents were informed by local police station on 15th October about her embracing to Islam and getting married with same man in response of FIR No. 302/2020 under 364-A PPC.

On 2nd November 2020 Sindh High Court has ordered on the ground about her age challenging, forcibly conversion and marrying illegally that Arzoo should be immediately recovered by Sindh Police & produce before the court on 5th November. Sindh government intervened due to the case became high profile and in same night police arrested to Ali Azhar and Arzoo sent to shelter from where she may appear in court on 5th November. Before it during Sindh High Court’s hearing dated 27th October 2020 due to her record alteration about age, statement by pressure & drugs usage of her free will marrying & embracing Islam the Sindh High Court ordered in favor of abductor.

Now in 2nd November’s proceeding the court considered the age of girl 13 on the basis of NADRA’s B-form mentioning her D/O/B 31st July 2007 with other supporting documents against her age 18 was falsely presented as adult in court by abductor was stated at her conversion certificate of Madressah Jamia Islamia & marriage certificate with her new name Arzoo Faatima.  

Naveed Walter president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) appreciate the efforts of positive development for her family and supporters from civil society, political workers, church leaders and community. He said this case is a case study that how the issue was raised and supported jointly until the stage of abductor’s arrests but there is more to do for long run, for implementation of Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act 2014, for same legislations in other provinces and for practicing, he added.

Naveed Walter said that the growing numbers of abductions, forced conversions and forced marriages of minority girls are alarming while the government look visible only for that cases which become high profiles.

Naveed Walter said in May 2019 the Child marriage prohibition bill for the law seeking to set minimum age for marriage at 18 named ‘The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill 2019’ was passed in Senate but its further proceeding was stopped after the National Assembly members particularly the sitting government’s parliamentarians and ministers including religious affairs highly opposed it by arguing that the Council of Islamic Ideology has opposed this bill as against Sharia and Islam, which shows that how the matter is serious for all minor girls of Pakistan while the UNICEF states that 21 percent of girls in Pakistan are married before age of 18 and 3 percent are married before the age of 15 and the Pakistan has the sixth highest number of absolute child brides in the world, he added more.

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