14-Year-Old Christian Girl Abducted by Muslim Neighbors: Suspects Present Controversial Documents in Islamabad Court

Islamabad, 04 July 2024 – A 14-year-old Christian girl, Alina, the daughter of Khalid Masih, a local sanitary worker, has been kidnapped by her Muslim neighbours. According to the First Information Report (FIR) registered at the Khanna police station, Haider Ali and Vicky are the primary suspects. The victim's family also suspects the involvement of Umar and Ali Shah, who have previous criminal records.

Alina's kidnapping on 25th June has left the community in shock. Khalid Masih, the father of the abducted girl, expressed his fears, stating, "They have kidnapped my daughter for nefarious purposes." The Masih family lives in Zia Masjid Street No. 12, Islamabad. Khalid, who works in Rawalpindi, is deeply worried for his daughter's safety, fearing that she may be killed after the assault.

The community has rallied behind the Masih family, with Khalid and local community workers seeking justice in the court of Judge Sadia Sultana, a Civil Judge in Rawalpindi. Alina, a student at Islamabad Model School for Girls G-8/4, is in the 6th grade. Her birth certificate, provided by NADRA, and school records confirm her age as 14, which is below the legal marriage age of 16 in Pakistan.

In a dramatic turn during the court hearing on 2nd July, the suspects presented several documents in an attempt to legitimize their actions. They produced a marriage certificate that claimed Alina is 19 years old, despite her official birth records confirming she is only 14. According to the marriage certificate, her alleged husband is 25 years old. Additionally, the suspects submitted a certificate of religious conversion, purportedly signed by Hafiz Muhammad Ali. This document claimed that Alina had willingly converted to Islam. The sudden presentation of these documents has raised serious questions about their authenticity and the possible coercion involved in Alina's abduction and alleged conversion. These developments have intensified the family's and community's calls for a thorough investigation and justice for Alina.

Christian politician Mansoor Randhawa condemned the abduction and criticized the police for not recovering the girl. "A minor girl was kidnapped on 25th June, and nine days later, we are still struggling to know her whereabouts. The police have failed to bring the culprits to court despite two hearings," Randhawa stated. He highlighted systemic flaws that allow such crimes to go unpunished, particularly the judiciary's acceptance of fraudulent documents and the neglect of the Child Marriage Restraint Act, which disproportionately affect minority girls.

Randhawa called on the state to take immediate action against those submitting false age documents and urged higher courts to take suo moto notice of such cases. He also appealed to the Inspector General of Islamabad to expedite Alina’s recovery and ensure the arrest of the kidnappers. "There is no one above the law," he asserted, emphasizing the need for urgent action to return the minor girl to her family.

Raja Umar, the lawyer representing the family, stated, "As a Muslim and an attorney, I stand in court for this 14-year-old girl, emphasizing that this is a grave injustice against a child. I urge the high officials to arrest the culprits immediately, recover the girl, and hand her over to her parents."

This case brings to light the ongoing issue of abduction and forced conversion of minority girls in Pakistan, drawing national and international attention to the plight of affected families and the urgent need for justice and reform.