A Muslim family in Pakistan beat an eight-year-old Christian girl and left her naked on the street in order to punish her uncle for courting a Muslim girl, according to reports.
The Muslim family allegedly abducted the Christian girl, named Parwasha, on her way home from school, before beating her and stripping her naked, leaving her clothes in the garbage.
Parwasha’s uncle, Iftikhar Masih, had been dating a Muslim girl named Samina, which infuriated the girl’s family. They decided to take revenge by dishonoring his niece as they felt Samina had been dishonored by Masih.
After being released, the girl ran home to her family, who appealed to the village elders for help. Not receiving any, the family then went to the local police station, but were told that the Muslim family had already filed a complaint against the Christian family for shaming Masih’s Muslim girlfriend, Samina. The police then arrested several members of the Christian family.
In its 2015 report, the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) presenting a damning picture of religious liberty in Pakistan, noting that “the Pakistani government engaged in and tolerated systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of freedom of religion or belief.”
The report stated that Pakistan’s legal environment is “particularly repressive due to its religiously discriminatory constitutional provisions and legislation” and that the government “failed to protect citizens, minority and majority alike, from sectarian and religiously-motivated violence.”
Pakistan’s Organization for Legal Aid is preparing to file charges of assault for the aggression suffered by the girl, though the outcome is anything but certain.
“Sadly these cases go to Shariah Courts where Christian lawyers are not allowed to defend victims and Muslim lawyers notoriously provide shallow prosecution services,” said Wilson Chowdhry, Chair of the British Pakistani Christian association (BPCA), in reference to a recent similar case.
In this 95% Muslim country, “Pakistani authorities have not consistently brought perpetrators to justice or taken action against societal actors who incite violence,” the USCIRF 2015 report found.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome