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ICC Note:

Reports claim that two Christian women from Lahore were beaten by a Muslim man in Lahore, Pakistan after the two women intervened in an abduction attempt. One of the women’s daughters was the target of the abduction, but thanks to the efforts of the two women, the abduction was thwarted. Christian women are often targeted for abduction, rape, forced marriage and forced conversion in Pakistan. This issue is likely second only to the issue of false blasphemy accusations for Christians in Pakistan. Will these women be able to find justice?   

1/9/2015 Pakistan (Christian Post) – Two Christian women were aggressively beaten by a Pakistani Muslim man in the provincial capital of Lahore after the women prevented the attacker from abducting the daughter of one of the women.

According to Pakistan Christian Post, Nusrat Bibi and her sister Rani Bibi, along with their two daughters, were walking home from the local factory on an early December evening when a Muslim man approached the women and began molesting Nusrat’s daughter.

The report states that the daughter, whose age was not identified, was initially able to defend herself and make the attacker stop. However, the attacker, who has been identified as a Muslim named Khawar Khokhar, became enraged and began beating the girl with his cricket bat. He then grabbed her by the hand and warned the mother and aunt not to intervene as he attempted forcibly taking the daughter away, presumably to sexually abuse her.

However, the Bibis would not allow for the girl to be abducted without a fight. The mother and aunt were able to free the girl by coming her to her defense. However, this only enraged Khokhar even more. Khokhar then beat both Nusrat and Rani with the cricket bat. The report indicates that Nusrat, the mother of the molested girl, had received more of a beating than Rani.

The report indicates that after Khokhar was done beating Bibi, he threw her on top of a pile of garbage and he then fled the scene. Due to the altercation, both women had their clothes ripped and both sustained injuries.

As Nusrat received the brunt of the beating, she suffered a broken left arm and two broken fingers in her left hand. The injuries suffered by Rani were not identified.

As the trend of abusive hostility towards Christian women in Pakistan continues, the report states that no neighbors came to the scene to help the women fend off Khokhar, due to Khokhar’s political prestige and legal history.

“No one from the neighbors came forward to save them due to the man’s political [influence] and from his criminal past,” the report stated. “Everyone locked their doors.”

Although the family and Christian-rights activists called for the government to take action against Khokhar, a fair investigation is yet to be conducted despite the fact that the police station filed an incident report. Additionally, the report states that police have failed to arrest Khokhar even though he has preemptively filed a pre-arrest bail petition.

The Bibis have also been threatened by Muslim men to “drop the charges or face dire consequences.” Police officials have also heavily pressured the Bibis to reach some kind of compromise with Khokhar outside of court.

Christian victims of crimes caused by the hostility of Muslim men in Pakistan often do not receive the proper support needed from the Pakistani justice system. More often than not, Christian accusations of attacks and rapes against Muslims go uninvestigated and often end up with the victim being directly threatened not to press charges and pressured to reach a settlement.

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