The family of a 13-year-old Christian girl who was abducted in Pakistan in February have accused police of not making enough effort to rescue her.
Samina Bibi, mother of Christian girl Shakina Johnson, said her daughter went missing on Feb. 19 but the police have made no serious effort to find her.
The mother alleged that her daughter was kidnapped by a Muslim man, Ali Sher, and was brought to the city of Depalpur, where she was forcibly converted to Islam.
Samina said Shakina is only 13 years old but a certificate sent to the family states the she was 18 years old to qualify her to marry her abductor.
The girl’s name was also reportedly changed to Shazia Bibi.
After Shakina went missing, the family was informed that Ali Sher abducted her and married her on Feb. 20.
A case of kidnapping was filed against Ali Sher on Feb. 21 at the Khana police station, but the police have failed to locate Shakina despite court orders.
“There is not much hope from the police, but we hope to get justice from the court,” said Shamina.
Nasir Saeed, director of the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement, alleged that the police deliberately delay action to recover girls from their abductors.
The center is an interdenominational organization working for Christians who are being persecuted because of their faith in Pakistan
“Underage Christian girls in Punjab and Hindu girls in Sindh continue to be targeted,” said Saeed in a statement on April 6.
He said perpetrators “often get away without being punished because of loopholes in the laws” and the lack of resources for families to challenge court rulings.
While these are the reported cases, the actual number could be much higher, said Saeed.