A 15-year-old Christian girl named Mishal Rasheed's life took a tragic turn when she was abducted, sexually assaulted, forcibly converted to Islam, and coerced into marriage with her abductor, Abdul Sattar.
The victim’s father, Rasheed Masih, said that on October 25, 2022, Mishal was abducted from home while preparing for school. “Four assailants forcibly entered my house; they assaulted me and took my daughter with them at gunpoint,” he said.
Rasheed said that the abductors trafficked her to an unknown location, where she was subjected to a horrific gang rape. Despite desperate attempts to seek assistance from the authorities, Mishal remained in captivity for six agonizing months, he added.
“Fortunately, one day my daughter got an opportunity to escape from the captivity of her abductors when they were busy with the last rituals of their brother,” he stated.
“I tirelessly sought justice for my minor daughter but encountered indifference and collusion, especially within the police force. For the past months, he and his daughter have been on the run, fearing for their lives,” he expressed.
“On October 19, I took a bold step towards justice and submitted a writ petition to the Lahore High Court (LHC) under Article 199 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, urging the submission of a challan for the apprehended accused individuals in this case, as per Case FIR No. 372/2022, under Section 365-B PPC, Cantt police station Okara,” he said.
Rasheed said that it is disheartening to note that, despite clear evidence, these accused persons remain unapprehended by the police. Their evasion of justice is largely attributed to their influential status within the community and their threats to the petitioner and his family, including the severe threat of falsely implicating them in a blasphemy case, an accusation that could have dire consequences.
Advocate Rana Abdul Hameed voiced the great failure of the police investigation in this case. “The prevailing trend in society is that whenever a minor girl of the minority religion is abducted and raped by Muslim individuals, they take the law into their own hands, disregarding clear legal provisions against such actions. The right to practice one's religion, adopt any business, and reside anywhere in the country are basic, fundamental, and constitutional rights. However, the petitioner and his family feel unsafe, as all household articles and valuables have been looted and snatched by the accused, leaving them in constant fear,” he mentioned.
Joseph Jansen, Chairman of Voice for Justice, decried this heinous act of violence against a Christian girl who was forcibly abducted, sexually abused, converted to Islam, and married off to her abductor. He urged the authorities to take strict legal action against those responsible.