A teenage Pakistani Christian, who was forcibly converted to Islam and married off to a 45-year-old Muslim man has testified that she is still a Christian.
“I was a Christian. I am a Christian and I will remain a Christian,” Neha Pervaiz told a judge at the City Court in Karachi while giving a statement on May 16.
The 15-year-old girl told the court that she was raped, forced to renounce Christianity and then pressured to marry a man called Imran, who stands accused of false conversion.
Pastor Ghazala Shafiq of the Church of Pakistan who helped the teenage girl file a police complaint and initiate legal proceedings against Imran, confirmed that Neha had testified in court.
“During the court proceedings, the judge asked lawyers from both sides to sit outside so that the girl didn’t feel any pressure,” Pastor Ghazala told ucanews.com.
The girl’s lawyer, Shahid Bhatti, said he would take the case to its logical conclusion.
“I have volunteered to take up this case and thank all those who are standing with her,” the lawyer said.
Kashif Anthony, a diocesan coordinator for the National Commission for Justice and Peace, said that a delegation of rights defenders and church activists met police officials and requested they assign a woman police officer for this case.
“We are glad that Additional Inspector-General of Police Dr. Amir Ahmad Shaikh has considered our request and assigned woman police officer Suhai Aziz Talpur to investigate the forced conversion and marriage of Neha against her will,” Anthony said.
“Imran has been arrested and we hope that he will be awarded punishment as per the law,” he said.
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