Catholics in Pakistan
Arzoo Raja Case

Arzoo Raja | What do parents hope and pray for once they become parents?

Suzanna Joseph

They endlessly pray for their child’s protection and safety. Their fears are at peak when they have to leave their kids unattended, just to make ends meet.

So was the case with the parents of #ArzooRaja as they left their child alone at home. That is when the abductor hit their house. Compromising not only their daughter’s life but their happiness and hope. Their daughter being lost to men with aggressive appetites for assault. Not only have they made her a harassed lifelong slave, but they have done it with such brilliance that surpassed Rules 5 & 9 of Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Rules 2016.

According to the defendant (44 years old) he was married lawfully to an 18-year-old. In truth the victimized child is a minor of 13 years only.

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A minor is defined under the age of eighteen, dependent upon an adult (parents) for taking any decision.

The parents were clearly out ruled as if they do not know the actual age of their own daughter. Regardless of being able to produce authentic birth certificate, NADRA and school certificate.

The police refuse to take the child under protective custody, saying that she has been married within her legal and constitutional rights.

If we do not raise our voices today until we are clearly heard and dealt with. These inhumane creatures, who do not know and follow any law, will soon cross all religious boundaries. Few months ago, they made an example of Maira Shahbaz, an orphan. Today Arzoo’s family suffers tomorrow this can be you and your child. Such cases will peak unless we raise our voices and Justice is done.

The Lahore High Court has made it clear that no court can ban conscience and heart in the matter of religion and faith, but the small child can change the religion without parent’s permission. The law must decide once and for all whose side are they on. Constitution supports forced conversion when they do not take legal action against it, even though law exists.

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