A 14-year-old Christian girl, who was ordered by a court to return to the Muslim man who had abducted her and forcibly married and converted her to Islam, has escaped and is in hiding in Pakistan’s Faisalabad area, according to reports.
Catholic teenager Maira Shahbaz has fled the home of her alleged husband, Mohamad Nakash, weeks after the Lahore High Court ruled that Shahbaz was legally married to her abductor and ordered her to be returned to his custody, the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported.
Judge Raja Muhammad Shahid Abbasi ruled earlier this month that Shahbaz must return to the home of the married man who had kidnapped her at gunpoint during the COVID-19 lockdown and whom the judge referred to as her “husband,” on the basis that she had converted to Islam.
“With this ruling, no Christian girl in Pakistan is safe,” a family friend and advocate, Lala Robin Daniel, was quoted as saying at the time.
“The order is unprecedented and will likely mean Maria will never return to her family,” Shazia George, a Pakistani human rights activist, told ICC after the ruling.
Judge Abbasi overruled a lower court’s decision that she be allowed to leave her captor’s home and stay at a women’s shelter until her case was heard by the Lahore High Court.
The Christian girl was abducted by Nakash and two accomplices while she was walking home in the Madina Town area in Faisalabad District. According to witnesses, the abductors forced Shahbaz into a car and fired gunshots into the air as they fled the scene, ICC reported earlier.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar