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Oct-29-2012 21:16printcomments

Minor Christian Girl Kidnapped in Islamabad Territory

"The practice of forced conversion and forced marriage is widespread: rich and powerful Muslims take advantage, especially in rural areas and girls are victims as religious minorities" - Amjid Masih, kidnapped girl's father

Timar Shahzadi, the kidnapped girl
Timar Shahzadi, the kidnapped girl

(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) - A Christian girl named Timar Shahzadi who is 14, was kidnapped and very likely is a rape victim who may be forcibly converted to Islam.

According to Pastor Farooq Sadique, Timar Shahzadi the Christian girl was kidnapped in the twin cities of Islamabad/Rawalpindi on 22nd October, 2012.

According to sources, she was kidnapped by some Muslim men while walking with friends, returning home from school Monday afternoon.

There is no question that the girl could be forcefully converted to Muslim and married, if immediate steps are not taken.

Her family reported the incident to the police station in Police Station Koral, Islamabad, but police did not launch an investigation immediately. Malik Muhammad Nawaz Sub Inspector is reportedly investigating the matter now in Islamabad.

The girl's family is poor and they cannot afford the expenses of the tribunal procedure. Her father requested that higher officials take care of his daughter’s issue. Her mother also asked human rights and women rights organizations to help in finding their daughter.

Her father, Amjid Masih, says the girl is a minor for whom, according to the law, marriage is not permitted. He says though that if the kidnappers have powerful ways, they can manage to also bypass this legal measure, and sadly this is a somewhat normal practice in Pakistan.

"The practice of forced conversion and forced marriage is widespread: rich and powerful Muslims take advantage, especially in rural areas and girls are victims as religious minorities."

According to Fides Agency data, in Pakistan there are about 1,000 similar cases each year, against Christian and Hindu girls. To combat the phenomenon, widely recognized by civil authorities, the "National Commission for Religious Minorities" has prepared a draft law (see Fides 14/06/2012), that Christians support and hope may soon be considered by Parliament.

About Shamim Masih

"I am Christian rights activist and freelancer Pakistani journalist specializing in writing about Christians rights for the different papers in the world. My aim is to create a peaceful environment in the society and to help eliminate Christian persecution through my writing as I bring the plight of these brave people under the spotlight of the whole world."

Shamim Masih was born in Sheikhopura's village and raised in Gujranwala, a city in Pakistan's Punjab province. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of the Punjab, Lahore majoring in English, Economics and Statistics; he also received a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

As a freelance writer and author, Shamim has written for different papers in the world; his expertise is in writing articles highlighting different social issues. He has served as freelance chief reporter and column writer in “Minority Times” in Islamabad, and a number of Shamim's articles have been published in local papers as well.

You can write to Shamim at this address: shamimpakistan@gmail.com

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