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Pakistani Christian woman abducted

by Michael Ireland

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (ANS) — Saima Iqbal, a 35-year-old Pakistani Christian mother of three, was allegedly abducted by a Muslim man on February 25, and was allegedly forced to convert to Islam.

Naveed Iqbal, the husband of Mrs Iqbal told International Minorities Concern, https://www.facebook.com/internationalminorities , a UK-based advocacy group for minority rights, that his wife was abducted from their home in New Iqbal Town in Islamabad by Muhammad Khalid Sati between 9:00-9:30 in the evening on February 25.

 

Naveed and Saima Iqbal

Mr Iqbal, who works in a local call centre, said: “I was shocked to find out that my wife was missing after I came back from the night shift on February 26. I made a complaint in the local police station on February 26 against the kidnapping of my wife.

 

“The police did not take immediate action in respect of my application. They lodged a police First Information Report (FIR) on March 1 only after I threatened to commit self-immolation,” said Mr Iqbal.

He stated: “The accused was arrested on March 5. The police recovered my wife from him on the same day.”

Contrary to Mr Iqbal’s hopes of reunion with his wife, the police told him that his wife had converted to Islam and had married the accused.

The conversion and the marriage certificates are fake. The Muslim marriage certificate does not even have a cleric’s signature, he alleged.

Mr Iqbal stated they were living a happy life before the kidnapping of his wife. Mr and Mrs Saima Iqbal have three children — Qamar 13, Danish, 8 and Michael, 4.

“I have challenged the forced conversion and the forced marriage of my wife in a magistrate’s court,” said Mr Iqbal. The magistrate’s court, he said, has fixed March 19 as the date of hearing.

Saima Iqbal and her sons

“I will fight until I get justice. My children are missing their mother and I am missing my wife. I love my wife. We have been married for 15 years,” said Mr Iqbal.

Mr Iqbal appealed to Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, and Pakistan’s chief justice to help him get justice.

Sheraz Khan, Chief Executive of International Minorities Concern, has expressed outrage over the abduction, the alleged forced conversion and forced marriage of Mrs Iqbal.

Mr Khan said: “The forced conversion of Pakistani Christian, Hindu and other minority women is a cause for concern. The government of Pakistan should put in place measures to stop increasing incidents of forced conversion and forced marriages of minority women.”

“We stand in full solidarity with Mr Naveed Iqbal and his sons during what is clearly a very difficult time for them.”

“The Pakistani authorities must give protection to Mrs Saima Iqbal so that she could speak the truth without fear of facing abuse by the accused or his backers,” he said.

 

 

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