03/21/2022, 13.06
PAKISTAN
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Three Christian girls kidnapped in Karachi over the past three weeks

by Shafique Khokhar

More minority girls have been kidnapped for the purpose of forced marriage and conversion to Islam. Two of these kidnappings took place a week apart in the same neighbourhood. “We call on Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Sindh government to take serious action against the criminals,” pleaded the mother of one of the girls.

Karachi (AsiaNews) – Three Christian girls were kidnapped over the past three weeks in order to be forcibly married, reviving a real nightmare for the country's religious minorities.

The latest case involves Merab, the second girl to be kidnapped in Orangi Town, a huge settlement within Karachi, home to about 1,200 Christian families.

The 15-year-old was taken on 7 March 2022 by a man called Noman, who has a criminal record. Three accomplices have been arrested so far, but not the kidnapper and Merab is still with him.

“My daughter is a minor and very innocent,” said Sumaira, the girl’s mother. “We call on Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Sindh government to take serious action against the criminals.”

“Noman is threatening us and has said that no one can do anything against him,” added the woman who urged Christians to pray for her daughter, that she may return home safe and sound.

A little over a week earlier, on 25 February, Mariam, 18, was kidnapped in the same area, as she made her way to the training facility at Baqai Hospital.

A brilliant second-year midwifery student who helped her widowed mother and younger siblings, she had no boyfriend, and told her older sister not to talk to strangers because "nobody can be trusted these days".

Then there is the case of Persicla, a 15-year-old Christian girl kidnapped, this time in front of her parents in her house in Sumundhari, in Faisalabad.

Dilawar, the child’s father, said they were sleeping in their room when a Muslim man, Muhammad Qasim, broke into their home and took away their daughter. After that, he threatened them with death if they told anyone about it.

According to Naveed Lazar, human rights activist and information secretary of the Pakistan Christian Association, seven Christian girls have been kidnapped in the past seven months from ​​Orangi Town and about 120 girls have been forcibly converted to Islam in the last five years.

Such violent actions target mainly the poorest families. Lazar condemned the rising number of cases, urging the authorities to act immediately and provide people with security.

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Pakistani activists: Enough forced conversions, government must act
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The Church in Karachi demands concrete actions against forced marriages
07/06/2021 15:35


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