Huma's mother takes Punjab governor to task over forced marriages
by Shafique Khokhar

In his Easter greetings to Christians, the politician claimed that "minorities enjoy full freedom in Lahore." The tears of Mrs. Nageena, whose 15-year-old daughter was kidnapped more than a year and a half ago: "If what happened to me had happened to these politicians would they have the courage to say the same?".


Lahore (AsiaNews) - “I am crying and begging in front of the courts, police and ministers to ask for justice for my daughter. How do you say that in Pakistan minorities enjoy full freedom, when our daughters are not safe, they are kidnapped, forced to marry and converted to fulfil evil desires?”.

With this cry of pain, Nageena, the mother of Huma Yunus, a 15-year-old girl kidnapped on 10 October 2019, reacts to the statements made on Easter day by the governor of Punjab Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar.

The reassurances on the protection of minorities were delivered on Sunday during an Easter celebration promoted by the Minority Advisory Council of Punjab in the governor's residence, in the presence of the minister for minorities and other politicians.

Chaudhary Sarwar addressed his wishes to the entire Christian community by claiming that the PTI government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, is aligned with minorities and every effort is made to ensure respect for their rights.

Speaking to the media, Governor Sarwar shared his personal experience saying: "In Britain as a Muslim I was a minority citizen, I am aware of these kinds of problems." He added that “unfortunately neighbouring India has become the slaughterhouse of minorities, the state sponsors terrorism and persecutes minorities, especially the Muslim one. International organizations must stop being indifferent to the suffering of Muslims in Kashmir and throughout India”.

Minority Minister Ejaz Alam echoed him claiming that all minorities living in Pakistan are making their contribution to the development and prosperity of the country and are ready to make any sacrifices for the defense of Pakistan. "The government - he added - and in particular Prime Minister Imran Khan, Governor Chaudhary Sarwar and the head of the local government Usman Buzdar, are taking the concrete steps necessary to tackle the problems".

It is a completely opposite picture to Nageena's experience, who has also been threatened with blasphemy charges for her campaign to get her daughter back. Nageena, while speaking to AsiaNews said that she has not seen her daughter for more than one and a half year and throughout these months there was not a single moment that she did not miss her beloved daughter.

Both Nageena and her husband Yunus visited Mr. Ejaz Alam Minister for Minorities Affairs for justice and to Madam Shunila Ruth, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Federal Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Government of Pakistan, but she had no response over their pleading and they did not do anything in recovering their daughter.

“If it had happened to her daughter - comments Ms. Nageena in tears - would Shunila Ruth have said equally that she feels more protected, safe and at peace in Pakistan than in any other country in the world? What do these politicians answer about conversions and forced marriages in this country? I pray that what happened to me will not happen to anyone else in Pakistan”.

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