07 Dec 2022 00:00:00 AM Breaking News
200 Christian families left homeless in Pakistan after CDA bulldozes their houses Pakistan: Human rights groups condemn custodial torture12-year-old Christian girl kidnapped, drugged and forced to marry Muslim man Accept Islam or be killed Christian Assistant Commissioner brutally attacked by group of lawyersPakistan: Christian sanitary worker accused of blasphemyPakistan: Christian schoolgirl escapes from her kidnapper Christian man beaten and threatened with death if he does not convert to IslamChristian woman went underground after being threatened with death if she didn’t convert to IslamChristian parents concerned about missing daughter Christians regain possession of the adjoining property of the ChurchThree Pakistani Christians accused of blasphemy granted bail.Hindu man arrested in Pakistan over alleged blasphemyJAC defends the vilification of CSOs especially Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Pakistani Court’s Outrageous Ruling says 12-Year-Old Christian Girl Must Stay Married to 40-year-old and already Married Muslim AbductorForeign minister proposes constitution of ‘Oversight Committee’ to resolve issues Pakistani’s minoritiesTerrorists attack Christians in Mustang Pakistan: Christians fled their homes when Muslim mob gathers to attack themKidnapped 12-year-old Christian girl, recovered and reunited with her family Christian man sentenced to death for blasphemyPakistani Prime Minister approves formation of a task force to look after the implementation of minority rightsChristian woman loses three month pregnancy during attempted rapeHigh court grants bail to a mentally ill man accused of blasphemyInfluential landlords want to seize the Christian cemeteryChristian father-of-five killed and another critically injured in Punjab, Pakistan Pakistan: Punjab Government bans adverts for Christian-only condition for sweepers’ jobs 14-year-old Christian girl kidnapped on the way to school Fact-finding report on minority rights launchedI want to move back to Pakistan if I am given equal citizenship rightsOne dead and another injured after shootingBrave Christian girl thwarts kidnapping attempts Christian cousins survive being shot by their neighboursPakistani Christians mark 24th anniversary of Bishop John Joseph’s deathChristian human rights activist and journalist receives death threats Christian organisation demands ban on National Single Curriculum in Pakistan Christian man kidnaped at gunpoint from outside courtThieves vandalise church in Karachi Pakistan: Police officer insulted and his job threatened because of his Christian faithFour suspects, including two teenage girls, arrested after woman murdered for alleged blasphemyPolice fail to recover two teenage Christian girls kidnapped in Karachi Pakistan: Muslim man climbs over 40 ft high church cross and starts shouting “Allahu AkbarThe role of police and judiciary is biased in cases of forced conversion, report finds Islamabad High Court sets marriage age limit at 18Election commission of Pakistan replaces word Easi with Masihi Christian woman kidnapped from Narang District SheikhupuraChristian man murdered by mob despite police presence Violent mob kills man accused of desecrating the Holy Quran in Khanewal Participatory Welfare Services hosts interfaith harmony dialogueHindu teacher sentenced to life in jail over blasphemy allegation Gunmen killed Christian priest, wound another in Peshawar, PakistanPolice shot three innocent Christian teenagers in KarachiIslamabad High Court issues notice to the government ministers on discriminatory job advertPakistani Christian mother concerned about the safety of her abducted daughterPakistan's court sentences Christian to death on blasphemy charges.Hindu temple vandalised in PakistanPakistani minorities protest against forced religious conversionRights groups urge Pakistani authorities to redefine blasphemy, and reform legislation to prevent the misuse of blasphemy laws13 people arrested for burning a disabled man aliveUS assessment of religious freedom in Pakistan is biasedChristian victim of blasphemy law acquitted after 10 years in jailA Pakistani Christian girl bravely escaped her abductors Pakistan minorities protest in Islamabad against rejection of forced conversion billLand mafia and police torture Christians in Mehran town, Karachi, to seize their land Minimum age for marriage not against Islam, court rules Pakistan’s parliamentary committee rejects anti-forced conversion billPakistan: High court rules non-Muslim children as young as 10 can convert to IslamSpecial police force created for the protection of minoritiesNGOs urge the EU to act over human rights abuses in Pakistan Husband throws hot water over the woman who converted to Islam to marry himChristian mother of four kidnaped on her way to homeCross removed from Church in Pakistan during the dedication.Anti-forced conversion bill draws concern from clerics Pakistan: Another Christian woman accused of blasphemy for forwarding a text UN designates day to commemorate victims of acts of violence based on religion Two Christian girls kidnapped at gunpoint outside their house Minor Christian girl forcibly converted to Islam recovered from kidnapper and sent to shelter homeNational Assembly passes unanimous resolution condemning attack on Hindu temple Another Christian girl kidnapped and converted to IslamPakistan’s blasphemy laws equated to ethnic cleansing, conference hears Quran now a compulsory in Punjab’s schools and collegesHindu woman should be returned to her parents after alleged forced marriage, court rulesPakistan court allows 2nd marriage of Christian man in Pakistan EU calls on Pakistan to intervene in release of blasphemy accusedReligious affairs ministry says religious conversion before 18 should be allowedPakistan: Christian girl raped at schoolAnother Christian Minor Girl Sent with her Abductor by the Pakistan High CourtPakistan: Muslim Doctor forcefully converts 13-year-old Christian girl to work in kitchenPakistani Supreme Court nationalises Christian college Christian couple acquitted of blasphemy charges Pakistani court send minor Christian girl with her abductor Bill before Sindh assembly calls for all 18-year-olds to be marriedTolerant majority needs to take charge of ending religious discrimination, retired Justice says Pakistan: Christian mother of five abducted and severely abusedChristian mother concerned her abducted daughter may be sold if not recovered soon Muslim nurses took over a chapel and threatened to convert it to a mosqueEU concerned over Pakistan’s rising blasphemy casesPakistan retained as country of particular concern in USCIRF report Sindh Assembly passes resolution condemning blasphemous caricaturesImran Khan says insulting Mohammed should be same as denying HolocaustTwo Pakistani Christian nurses charged with blasphemy offencesMother of kidnapped 13-year-old accuses police of not finding her daughter Pakistan: CDA demolishes church in Islamabad during LentPakistan: Petition filed to make the death penalty the only punishment for blasphemy in the Pakistan Penal CodePakistan: Police force pastor and congregation to shut down Church Christian man granted bail after blasphemy accusations Christian Family attacked by a Muslim land grabber Protests erupt after inmate charged with blasphemyJudge issued certificate needed for religious conversion, parliamentary committee proposesPrime Minister’s aide says there is no concept of forced conversion in PakistanTwo Christians charged under blasphemy law for distributing Christian literature Sentence of 5-10 years’ jail being considered for those involved in forced conversionCommittee rejects Protection of the Rights of Religious Minorities (PRRM) Bill Pakistan: Christian staff nurse and gospel singer accused of committing blasphemy Christian father begging police to help get his daughter backChristian girl threatens to burn herself if she doesn’t get justice Pakistan: Woman kills her husband and two daughters Two Christian sisters martyred for not converting to IslamThree Christians charged with blasphemy on Christmas DayA Christian man charged with blasphemy acquitted after 11 years Pakistan rejects US designation on religious freedom blacklistMuslim man shoots Christian woman dead for refusing to marry himPoliceman told Christian father to be happy for his daughter’s conversion to Islam instead of registering a case against the kidnapper Supreme Country unhappy over reconstitution of minorities’ commissionPakistan: Christian family foil attempt to kidnap their daughter Pakistani Senate panel to hold sessions on forced conversion in SindhMuslim man wants to forcefully marry Christian girlBill for minorities rejected by senate panelAnother Pakistani Christian woman escapes her kidnapperChristian hospital cleaner accused of stealing 2.2 million rupees worth of medicinePrime Minister Imran Khan calls for rapists to be hanged publicly PML-N demands public execution of those convicted in child sex abuse cases Man calling himself Jesus charged under the blasphemy law Pakistani Christian man sentenced to death for 'blasphemous texts'Christian mother and son 11 arrested after allegedly stealing gold and cash from employer’s house Police arrest Christian man accused of blasphemyPakistani Christian leaders condemn Quran burning in Sweden Pakistan: Annual pilgrimage at national Marian shrine in Mariamabad cancelledHuman Rights Watch asks Imran Khan to amend the blasphemy law Minor marriages and their conversion is an important issue, CII chairman saysNew curriculum to be implemented next year for grade one to fiveChristian domestic servant beaten for not converting to IslamPakistani Christian mother killed by police officerYoung Christian factory worker killed by his Muslim colleagueComplaints lodged against Saba Qamar and Bilal Saeed for committing blasphemyGovernor of Punjab announces opening of Mariamabad as tourist sitePakistan’s National Assembly adopts resolution for adding Quaid-e-Azam’s speech to syllabusOn National Minorities Day, President Alvi says minorities will be treated equally Pakistan National Assembly Unanimously Passes Resolution to Write Khatamun Nabiyyin With Hazrat Muhammad (SAW)Pakistani minorities mark National Minority Day with mixed feelingsPakistan’s Punjab Assembly passes resolution on Quaid’s Aug 11 speechPakistani legislators oppose bill they passed three weeks agoPakistani court sparks outrage by ruling Christian girl, 14, must stay married to alleged abductorPakistani Christian man charged with blasphemyUSCIRF outraged at courtroom killing of US citizen in Pakistan over blasphemy chargesMan accused of blasphemy In Pakistan shot dead at courtPakistan: Punjab govt asked to set minimum age of marriage for girls at 18Punjab Assembly passes bill allowing inspection of printing presses and confiscation of any publicationShould minorities leave Pakistan?Blasphemy complaint against opposition politician for saying ‘all religions are equalPakistan’s National Assembly adopts resolution for teaching Holy Quran with translation in universitiesPope 'saddened' as Hagia Sophia reverts to mosqueCouncil of Islamic Ideology in Pakistan will consider whether public funds can be used to build a Hindu templePakistani Christian man shot dead by neighbour for buying house in Muslim dominated areaIslamic seminary issues Fatwa against construction of Hindu Temple in IslamabadUniversity professor arrested under Blasphemy accusationMuslims attack a church and desecrate the Cross in PakistanChristian mother complains to Police about her daughter's abductionPakistani Minister calls for those who Blaspheme against Muhammad to beheadedHuman rights situation in Pakistan "Grealty worrisome”Pakistani Governor makes Quran teaching with translation compulsory in Punjab University

Pakistani Court’s Outrageous Ruling says 12-Year-Old Christian Girl Must Stay Married to 40-year-old and already Married Muslim Abductor


The Rawalpindi Bench of the Lahore High Court, on the 18th of August 2022, decided that the marriage between the 12-year-old Christian girl Zarvia Pervaiz and the 40-year-old Imran is valid. Imran is an already married Muslim man of approximately 40 years old. The judge, Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan, heard the case for a mere two minutes and then stated that Zarvia was 12 years old and married out of her free will. He refused to take into account any other evidence. Petitioners left the courtroom shortly after that. During previous court statements, Zarvia had stated that she converted to Islam and married by choice to Imran Shahzad. Based on that statement the police led Zarvia to go with Imran.  The parents of Zarvia state that their daughter was abducted, forcefully converted, and married to Imran.

Previously, Zarvia had managed to make a phone call to her family and informed them that Imran threatened to kill her brothers if she would not state in court that her conversion and marriage was out of free will.

The Pakistani justice system ignored all laws against child marriage.  It is likely that Imran and his wife are part of a sex trafficking ring for which they need young girls like Zarvia. We urge the government to reinvestigate the case.

Yasmeen Pervaiz, on the 13th of July 2022, filed a petition under 491 of Cr. PC. (Criminal Procedure Code) for the recovery of her daughter Zarvia Pervaiz from the illegal custody of Imran. Unfortunately, on the 18th of August 2022 Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan of the Rawalpindi Bench of the Lahore High Court dismissed the case filed by Zarvia’s parents stating that the girl is 12 years old and is married out of free will. He did not want to take into account any other provided evidence and the petitioner had to leave the courtroom shortly after.

Sherkan Malik, a human rights activist, confirmed that "state apparatuses tend to support those who commit crimes such as forced conversions, child marriages, and sexual violence because they believe they will receive a heavenly reward for helping convert someone to Islam, regardless of how intentional or coercive the conversion is."

Nadia Stephen, a Christian activist with Voice for Justice, pointed out the failings of the judge, who validated the marriage despite Zarvia being a minor. The Rawalpindi court should have considered the ruling issued by the Islamabad High Court in February this year that "marriage of minors under the age of 18 is illegal, even if of their own free will." The court order also violates the Child Marriage Law, which prohibits marriages to girls under the age of 16.   

Human rights activists Ashiknaz Khokhar and Ilyas Samuel asked for a bill to amend the Child Marriage Restraint Act. It must be moved in the national and provincial legislative assemblies to ensure that the minimum marriageable age is set at 18 years for both boys and girls, and the marriage of minor children is declared null and void. As an interim measure, a hold should be placed on the validation of any marriages associated with faith conversions by the magistrates. It is necessary that verification or ascertaining of age, and free will is required by senior civil judges in such cases.

The Chairperson of Voice for Justice, Joseph Jansen, said that forced marriages and the conversion of minors are harmful practices. Especially religious minorities are vulnerable since the conversion is used as a way to gain public support and to ensure the custody is moved away from the parents.  Therefore, Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments must introduce comprehensive laws against forced conversions and child marriages in conformity with international human rights standards without any further delay.


 Another minor Christian girl faces forced faith conversion
Lahore (17 August 2022): The human rights activists have voiced their concerns over the abduction followed by forced conversion and forcible marriage of a 12 years old Christian girl Zarvia Pervaiz, and they called upon the legislators to enact a law to criminalize forced faith conversions. They also urged the police authorities to recover her from the captivity of the perpetrators and bring the perpetrators and abettors involved to justice using the existing protections in the laws including safeguards against child marriage and sexual violence to prevent the miscarriage of justice. 

Detail: Zarvia Pervaiz is a 13-years old school-going Christian girl. Her family gave shelter in their home to an acquainted Muslim couple, Imran Shahzad and Adiba with three children, at a time when they were facing financial constraints. Imran used to physically abuse his wife, so Zarvia’s mother Yasmeen had to intervene multiple times to save his wife from further violence committed against her. Disturbed by his behaviour, Zarvia’s parents asked Imran and his wife to leave their home. 

One week later, Imran’s wife Adiba visited their home on 30 April 2022 and asked Zarvia to accompany her shopping. When Zarvia didn’t return home by dusk that day, her family started searching for her in Bazar and making contact with the relatives of Imran and Adiba. Then, Imran Shahzad sent an audio note through whatsapp to Zarvia’s mother Yasmeen that he has abducted Zarvia, and will not return her to the family. 

On 1 May 2022, an FIR under section 365-B PPC (Pakistan Penal Code) was registered against Imran, Adiba, and their abettor Liaquat, with Sadiqabad Police Station in Rawalpindi. Two weeks after the FIR was lodged, the Police arrested all the three accused and recovered Zarvia from Faisalabad. Zarvia was kept overnight in the Women’s Police station in Rawalpindi and made to share the same lockup as that of Adiba, who was involved in her abduction. 

On 14 May 2022, Zarvia Pervaiz got recorded her statement under section 164 Cr. P.C. before the Judicial Magistrate Rawalpindi, stating that “she is 14 years old, and does not want to undergo a medical examination. She has embraced Islam and contracted marriage with Imran Shahzad with her free will and consent”. On the basis of her statement, Judicial Magistrate Rawalpindi issued an order to discharge and release the accused in this case. 

Zarvia managed to make a phone call to her family and stated that “the accused party has threatened her to record a statement before the court in favour of the perpetrators otherwise her two brothers will be killed.” 

Yasmeen Pervaiz filed a petition under 491 of Cr. PC. (Criminal Procedure Code) for the recovery of her daughter Zarvia Pervaiz from the illegal custody of Imran Shahzad and Adiba, however, Additional Session Judge, Rawalpindi issued an order dated 13 July 2022 to dismiss the petition.  

In a statement, the mother of the abducted girl, Yasmeen Pervaiz said that minorities do not enjoy equally and fully the right to access justice, as the police and the court continue to favour perpetrators from the Muslim community, ignoring the existing laws regarding child/forced marriage and sexual violence. The discriminatory practice in the investigation and trial emboldens the perpetrators to take away the underage minority girls from their parents for a lifetime. She appealed to the government authorities to help Zavria reunite with her parents.  

A Muslim human rights activist, Sherkan Malik said that the state apparatuses are involved in supporting the Muslims to get away with crimes involving forced conversions, child marriage, and sexual violence committed against minority girls, with a motive to receive the heavenly reward, in exchange, for providing assistance to convert someone to Islam, no matter how wilful or coercive the conversion is.  

Joseph Jansen, chairman of Voice for Justice, appreciated the parliament for passing a resolution and holding a minority convention and constituting a ‘Parliamentary Oversight Committee’ to take practical and legal measures to protect minorities’ rights against human rights violations including forced conversion. He said that the legislators must not shy away from introducing effective legal and administrative measures to address the phenomenon of forced conversions.

Nadia Stephen lamented that the judicial magistrate validated the marriage contracted under duress of an underage girl, Zarvia Pervaiz, ignoring the material evidence confirming that she is pressurized. The court must have considered the ruling of February 2022 passed by the Islamabad High Court stating that “the marriage of children under the age of 18 is unlawful, even of their own free will”. The court order violates the Child Marriage Restraint Act, according to which the marriage of girl below 16 years of age is illegal.