The Pakistani Christian community is shocked by the application of Islamic law, ‘sharia’, by the Karachi Supreme Court in a kidnapping case that has mobilized international public opinion.
Ignoring the law itself, which does not allow the marriage of minors, the judges yesterday validated the forced marriage of Huma Younus, a Christian girl, just 14 years old who was abducted on 10 October in Zia Colony, in the city of Karachi.
Joel Aamir Sahotra , a prominent leader of the Pakistani Christian community and former deputy in the Punjab Assembly, sent a message to ACN condemning this “brutal verdict” that is “against the law and moral values”.
As of now, says Sahotra, ” girls and women from religious minorities feel more insecure”, not least because, he adds, “forcing a conversion is a very easy way to accuse and abduct a girl from a religious minority”.
Huma Younus’s mother also reacted immediately to the court’s decision, stating that this is yet another sign ” that Christians are not considered to be citizens of Pakistan”.
As ACN has already reported, Huma Younus’s family has appealed in court over this case, asking the judges to annul the alleged marriage of the young Christian because she is a minor. The court convened a new session for March 4, but the fact that the marriage has been validated in the meantime will make it more difficult, if not impossible, to convict the perpetrator of the kidnapping of young Huma Younus.
“We hoped that with this case the law would be applied for the first time, but clearly in Pakistan these laws are only formulated and approved to give credit to the country in the eyes of the international community, to request funds for development and to gain free access to European markets for products Pakistanis ”, lamented lawyer Tabassum Yousaf.
For his part, the former regional deputy in Punjab accuses the authorities of not sufficiently protecting the rights of Christians. “Pakistan is a country known for the persecution of religious minorities within its own bosom”, says Joel Aamir, lamenting that, in the specific case of Huma Younus, “a 14 year old girl who is not authorized to marry, even in legal terms nor ethnic ”, there was no outcry of condemnation in society.
Classifying the Christian community as “very small and vulnerable”, Joel Amir is uneasy when he realizes that, today, “the religious element and the mentality are the best in all aspects of life in Pakistan”.
In fact, kidnapping girls is a cruel reality in Pakistan and affects mainly the Christian and Hindu communities, two of the main religious minorities in this Muslim country. Normally, young women after being abducted are forced to convert to Islam and are given in marriage to older men.