Catholics in Pakistan
Arzoo Raja Case

Psychological trauma- Arzoo resists parental custody

Suzanna Joseph

Although abduction of an individual for the purpose of forced marriage is a criminal offense in Pakistan. It is one of the most, widespread reported crimes against women in the country.
Moreover, this heinous crime is not only restricted to women. It grips children and extends to child abuse.

“Child sexual abuse is the involvement of children and adolescents in sexual activities that they cannot fully comprehend and to which they cannot consent as a fully equal, self-determining participant, because of their early stage of development.”

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Medical records announced on November 9, 2020 declare Arzoo Raja as 14 years old. She is a recent victim to the aforementioned crimes. Since these medical records classify her as minor. To clarify, this means she could not have given her consent because she was abducted from her home. Abduction and forced conversion are not acts of love.

Furthermore, Arzoo’s resistance from parental custody is a direct result of psychological and emotional trauma.

Her lack of consent, her being an underage spouse, the absence of her parent’s consent and the probability that she was either threatened, blackmailed or coerced into marriage are all necessary grounds for a civil annulment.

However, another hearing will deal with the status of this illegal marriage and Arzoo’s free will, on conversion, also be looked upon.

The state is actively responsible for her welfare until court reaches a conclusion. As well as Ali Azhar will never be allowed to contact Arzoo, in case of bail.

A trial court will view all concerned parties who formulated this child marriage, after a fortnight.

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