Pakistan: Christian father begging police to help get his daughter back


London: A Christian father is begging the police to find his daughter who was kidnapped while he was at work.

Rafique Masih of Rawalpindi said that on January 5, while he was at work, Muhammad Hamza, forcefully entered his home and kidnaped Mashal, 17, with the help of two of his companions.

He said that at the time of the abduction his other daughter, aged 11, was at home was scared and not able to resist.

The Mohallah Raja Sultan Rawalpindi is predominantly Muslim, and instead of helping the family they are laughing at their helplessness.

Mashal’s father, Rafique, said that when he went to Bani police station, Rawalpindi to register the complaint about his daughter’s kidnapping, instead of registering a case against the kidnapper, police officers ridiculed him and intentionally delayed registering the case.

Since Mashal was kidnapped, the police have shown no interest in recovering her from her kidnappers.

Rafique has accused the police of deliberately delaying recovering his daughter because he is Christian.

Rafique said he fears that if Mashal is not recovered soon, they may get her conversion to Islam certificate and maybe her marriage certificate and statement saying that she has converted to Islam and married Mohammad Hamza of her own free will.

He is now pleading with the police to help get his daughter back.

Nasir Saeed, Director CLAAS-UK said: “Sadly the police doesn’t take these cases seriously and instead of doing their duty and keeping themselves impartial, they side with the kidnappers and don’t take any action until they are pressured.

“The police often avoid registering such cases as they think it will tarnish Pakistan's image in the international community, as the international community, especially the US commission on international Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief (UK), have expressed their concerns over increasing forced conversion cases in Pakistan.

“Presently there are several cases of Christian girls like Huma Younis, Arzoo Raja and Maira Shahbaz making headlines every day in international Christian and secular media.  Christian parents feel helpless, and are appealing to the president, Prime Minister, and even in some cases the Chief of the Army Staff, but there is no response.

“Christian parents just want their underage daughters back, but the police and courts fail to comply with the law. This is such a desperate situation and the whole Christian community feels so angry, but it is all falling on the deaf ears of the authorities.

“Christians feel unsafe and worried about their future in Pakistan because of inaction from the government to stop this ongoing treatment against Christian underage girls, which infact encourages the culprits and therefore such cases continue to rise and there is no hope for the religious minorities.”

Meanwhile, Christian girl threatens to burn herself if she doesn’t get justice: A Christian girl, Shiza, who recently escaped her Muslim kidnappers has released a video stating that she will burn herself if she doesn’t get justice.

According to her parents, the police is not cooperating and is not willing to register a case to arrest the kidnappers, while the session court is not entertaining their petition.

The family is poor and has no means to bribe the police or hire an expensive lawyer, while the kidnappers are well off and influential.

Shiza has issued the video in desperation because she is still traumatised and had lost all hope for justice.

Shiza was abducted on September 28, by five armed men Talha, Bilawal Jaffar, Jaffar Shareef, Salman, and Nomi who forcibly entered her home in Village 248 of the Faisalabad district.

As her family struggled to protect her, they were beaten, and she was dragged into a car before being taken to an unknown place where she was raped and abused for three days.

Shiza said her abusers often called her ‘Chori’, a derogatory term used against Pakistani Christians.

In an attempt to cover their crimes, the abductors forcefully converted her to Islam and forced her to marry one of the assailants.

They forced her to place her thumb impressions on both the marriage and conversion certificates.

After two months Shiza managed to escape and in November returned to her family. But none of the men identified by Shiza have so far been arrested by the police.

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