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Alleged Kidnapper Threatens Family of Christian Girl in Pakistan

Alleged Kidnapper Threatens Family of Christian Girl in Pakistan: Police refuse to arrest politician’s aide who allegedly forced 15-year-old to convert, marry.

ICC Note: The aid of a Pakistani politician threatened a Christian family after abducting their daughter in Karachi. “[He] warned her parents that the same fate awaits their other daughters unless they drop charges against him and leave the city,” Morning Star News reports. Asma Masih, 15-years-old, is the latest known case of a Christian girl being abducted and forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan. Kidnappings of Christian girls are often accompanied by acts of extreme violence, including rape, beatings, and other forms of physical and mental abuse. Police refuse to take Asma’s abductor into custody.

2/06/2013 Pakistan (MSN) -A powerful Pakistani politician’s aid who abducted a Christian girl from her home in Karachi has warned her parents that the same fate awaits their other daughters unless they drop charges against him and leave the city, the family said.

Khursheed Bibi told Morning Star News that Ghaji Khan, a close aide of Sindh Provincial Minister for Local Government Agha Siraj Durrani, had abducted 15-year-old Asma Masih from their house on Dec. 10 and forced her to marry him and convert to Islam (see, “Christian Girl in Pakistan Allegedly Forced to Convert, Marry). Authorities have refused to take Khan into custody in spite of court orders to arrest him, according to the family.

“We told the police that Ghaji is threatening us, telling us to withdraw the case or else he would abduct my other daughters, but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears,” she said. “We have lost our daughter, but now it seems we also have to relocate to another city to protect my other daughters.”

The girl’s mother, brother and father Rehmat Masih saw her in the company of Khan’s underlings on Jan. 28 – and heard her plead for them to rescue her, her mother said – after a family member informed them that Khan and Asma had been seen at the Sindh High Court (SHC). The family members rushed to the high court from a hearing at the judicial magistrate’s court, Khursheed Bibi said.

“We immediately boarded a taxi and went to the high court, where Ghaji, Asma and some men were present,” she said. “I immediately ran toward my daughter, who started weeping on seeing me, but Ghaji and his men snatched her away and managed to escape from the premises after manhandling us.”

The family immediately telephoned Sub-Inspector Abdul Ghaffar, who has refused to arrest Khan, presumably because he is an employee of Durrani, who is both influential and biased against Christians, Khursheed Bibi said.

Asma is 15 years old and four months according to her birth certificate, while Khan is claiming that she is more than 16, he added.

“According to Islamic sharia law, the marriageable age of girls must be 16,” he said. “If the police produce the girl in court, we will seek a medical board to determine her age to support our claim that she is underage, and hence the act of getting her married by an Islamist cleric is also illegal and punishable under the law.”

Jamil said he had advised the family to file a court petition to change the investigating officer of the case, as Ghaffar’s complicity was quite evident by his reluctance to arrest the accused despite repeated court orders.

Khursheed Bibi said that not only have police ignored the family’s complaints about Khan’s threats, but Ghaffar has also pressured them to drop the case, telling her “the accused was very influential and beyond the reach of the courts and police,” she said.

“He has often told us that the girl might never be returned to the family, as she was a Muslim now and would continue to stay with her lawful husband,” she said. “Even if this is the case, why isn’t he producing her in court where she can speak her mind?”

The family has given up hope of ever seeing Asma returned to them, she said.

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