Pakistan's failed judicial system fails 14-year-old Christian girl

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 08, 2020, 02.06 AM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

Petitioner's counsel, Sarah Belal, said that the board had confirmed that Hayat was not fit for execution and sought suspension in his execution, and that executing him would violate local and international laws. Photograph:( Others )

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Christian girls have to encounter horrific realities in Pakistan, some of which the worst are forced marriage and conversion to Islam 

Fear has become a daily reality for Christians in Pakistan.

A community that constitute just two per cent of the country's total population are facing increasing discrimination and violence by a majority of Muslims. 

Christian girls have to encounter horrific realities in Pakistan, some of which the worst are forced marriage and conversion to Islam. 

This is exactly the real-life tragedy of Maria Shahbaz.

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Maria, a 14-year-old Chrisitan girl, was abducted at gunpoint in April this year.

She was then forcibly married to her abductor, an influential Muslim man.

For three months, the 14-year-old remained in her abductor's custody. 

Her family's only hope for justice was Pakistan's infamous judicial system. 

On Tuesday, the Lahore High Court ruled that Maria Shahbaz had willingly converted to Islam and married her kidnapper. 

The verdict, therefore, asked her to stay in his abductor's custody and be a good wife. 

The court even discounted birth certificates and school records that proved that she was a minor. 

An eyewitness's account says that the girl was in tears when this ruling was announced, afraid to speak her mind, fearing for her family's safety. 

She is not the first minority woman in Pakistan that has gone through this ordeal and certainly won't be the last. 

An estimated 1,000 poor women and girls from Pakistan's minority communities are abducted every year, converted to Islam and forced to marry their captors. 

Pakistan's priorities are different, which includes pandering extremists, which means these grim figures are unlikely to change anytime soon.