Faisalabad: May 13, 2016. (PCP) In a letter to Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Ref, No. PMTA/43-45/16-KPR, dated May 13, 2016 Professor Anjum James Paul Chairman Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA) has requested to protect Pakistani Christian and Hindu daughters.
The content of the letter is presented below;
Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister’s Secretariat
Subject: - UNPROTECTED PAKISTANI CHRISTIAN AND HINDUS DAUGHTERS
Greetings and peace from Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA).
PMTA would like to draw your kind attention on the subject cited above.
State of human rights is worsening day by day in Pakistan because Christian and Hindu minor girls and women are a soft target for the abductors who abduct them, forcibly convert their religion and forcibly marry as they are supported by the state run functionaries. Judicial system of Pakistan has always been influenced by the majority and due to this non-Muslims are denied to justice even though they produce documentary evidences to the courts.
The most recent example of this injustice is Sana Shahid, D/O Shahid John, who was a student of grade 5 when she was abducted, converted to Islam and forcibly married on November 9, 2015 (187 days ago) while she was going to her Government Girls Primary School, Mianapura (West) Sialkot by Waheed Akhter S/O Muhammad Bashir, resident of Mohallah Kasayian, Rodes Road, Mianapura, Sialkot. First Information Report (FIR) number 933/15 was logged in the Hajipura Police Station Sialkot on the same day on November 9, 2015 but in vain.
According to Birth Registration Certificate, Government of Punjab, Pakistan, Saint Joseph Catholic Church Sialkot record and School Leaving Certificate of Government Girls Primary School, Mianapura (West) Sialkot, Sana Shahid was born on April 17, 2002 but on marriage certificate she is 18 years of age. Pakistani non-Muslims have lost their daughter Sana by the biased decision of the court which has deliberately given weightage to the biased board instead of relying on the three official records regarding her age. The biased decision of the court has put damaging effects on Sana’s father who has lost senses and wanders in search of his stolen daughter who cannot be returned to him because she is in the powerful hands. Sana’s family is paralyzed and unprotected by the powerful. I still remember when her daddy said to me in December 2015 with a little hope, “Many days have gone when will our daughter be returned to us?” Sana’s twin sister Hina who wanted to become a doctor has also left school in fear fear of abduction and forced conversion. Sana’s two younger brothers have also left school. Sana’s uncle is threatened of life. Prime Minister’s National Enrolment Scheme 2016 to send every girl child to school has failed after this verdict. Non-Muslim parents do not feel secure to send their daughters to schools now in fears.
IN SANA SHAHID CASE THERE IS OPEN VIOLATION OF;
1. Punjab Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Act 2015
2. According to Punjab Commission for Women Rights
i. It is a crime to marry a girl under the age of 16.
ii. Underage and forced marriage is a punishable crime.
iii. There is 6 months prison and 50000 rupees fine not only for the person who marries a girl under the age of 16 but also for that person who performs the marriage ceremony and who registers the marriage as well.
3. Section 365 B of Pakistan Penal Code
4. National Action Plan 2014 regarding ‘religious persecution and protection of minorities’
5. Punjab Child Protection Bureau
6. Article 20 (a) of the Constitution of Pakistan that guarantees, “Every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice and propagate his religion.”
7. Article 25 A of the Constitution of Pakistan that guarantees, “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as may be determined by law.”
8. Article 36 the Constitution of Pakistan that guarantees, “The State shall safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of minorities, including their due representation in the Federal and Provincial services.”
i. Is there religious freedom to all citizens of Pakistan as guaranteed in Article 20 of the Constitution of Pakistan?
ii. Are rights of non-Muslim minority students protected in the curriculum, textbooks and educational environment as guaranteed in Article 22 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan?
iii. Are all citizens of Pakistan equal and treated equally as guaranteed in Article 25 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan?
iv. Is state of Pakistan safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of religious minorities as guaranteed in Article 36 of the Constitution?
v. Are courts unbiased regarding the forced conversion of religion and forced marriages of minor Christian and Hindu girls and women?
vi. Is there any law for the sanctity of Christian and Hindu marriages?
vii. Why are abductors interested to marry Christian or Hindu girls and women while there are girls and women even in their own religion who may be in need to marry them?
viii. Are there any arrangements for the religious education of non-Muslims?
ix. Why non-Muslims are invited to convert their religion?
x. Why there is propagation against the beliefs and practices of non-Muslims in the electronic and print media and in the educational environment?
The ultimate answer of all these questions is ‘No’ because non-Muslim religious minorities are deprived of equal opportunities and equal citizenship in Pakistan. There is hardly any day when a Christian or a Hindu girl or woman is not raped, abducted, forcibly converted and forcibly married. There is only desecration of the sanctity of the Christian and Hindu marriages. There is desecration of churches and temples. There is desecration and burning of the Holy Bible and Geeta. Congregations in the worship places are attacked and gun downed. Non-Muslim religious minorities are facing religious, social, political and economic discrimination. Non-Muslims have to face discriminatory laws. Non-Muslims are burnt alive and the accused are released by the courts after sometime. Non-Muslim students are considered Muslims and they are educated being Muslims losing their religious identity. Non-Muslims are soft target at their work places and their lives and beliefs are always at risk.
VOICE FOR SANA SHAHID
Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association raised voice for Sana as she was a student. Besides this, PMTA wanted to complete the vision of Prime Minister Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to educate every girl child of Pakistan. The biased decision of the court has become a hindrance in his vision because non-Muslim girls will not be able to fulfill his dream as they are under threat of kidnapping, forced conversion and forced marriages. A documentary prepared by PMTA on Sana Shahid’s case “When will our daughter be returned to us” was presented with documents along with letters to the esteemed of the government of Pakistan, Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan and Chief Justice Lahore High Court. Biased decision of the court shall encourage the kidnappers to kidnap, convert and forcibly marry more Christian and Hindu girls and women as their right. Many more Christian and Hindu parents and their families shall become mad for their beloved stolen daughters. They will make useless efforts like PMTA for Sana Shahid to find justice from the courts and other forums but justice will be denied to them.
A glimpse is presented below for the recovery of Sana Shahid.
i. Letter to honorable Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad, Ref. No. 59-71/15 Dated November 16, 2015, Subject “Request to Save Beliefs and Religious Freedom of Non-Muslim Students and Teachers”
ii. Letter to honorable Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab, Ref. No. PMTA/72/15, dated December 22, 2015, Subject “Recovery of Sana Shahid, A 13 years old Christian student who has been abducted, converted and forcibly married”
iii. Letter to honorable Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Prime Minister’s Secretariat, Islamabad, Ref. No. PMTA/73-78/15, dated December 28, 2015, Subject, “Pakistani Textbooks A Hindrance in the National Action Plan”
iv. Letter to honorable Mr. Abdul Sattar, Director, National Commission on Human Rights, Ministry of Law, Justice & Human Rights, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, Ref. No. PMTA/79/15, dated December 29, 2015, Subject “Reminder Regarding Sana Shahid, A 13 years old Christian student who has been abducted, converted and forcibly married”
Note: The matter was discussed and documents were provided to the honorable Director during a meeting with him in his office in Islamabad on December 14, 2015.
v. Letter to honorable Mr. Mian Raza Rabbani, Chairman, Senate of Pakistan Islamabad, Ref. No. PMTA/81/15, dated December 31, 2015, Subject “Reminder Regarding Sana Shahid, A 13 years old Christian student who has been abducted, converted and forcibly married”
Note: Matter was brought in the notice when honorable Chairman was Acting President of Pakistan in an Award ceremony at Margalla Hotel Islamabad on December 15, 2015. Documents were also provided during the ceremony.
vi. Letter to honorable Mr. Abdul Sattar, Director, National Commission on Human Rights, Ministry of Law, Justice & Human Rights, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, Ref. No. PMTA/02/16-KPR, dated January 23, 2016, Subject “Sana Shahid’s Daddy Asks “When Our Daughter Be Returned To Us”.
vii. On the request of PMTA, honorable Mrs. Shunila Ruth (MPA) brought the matter of Sana on Point of Order during the session in the Punjab Assembly on February 4, 2016. Honorable Mr. Khalil Tahir Sindhu, Punjab Minister for Human Rights & Minorities Affairs admitted in the session that it was a forced conversion case.
viii. Letter to Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab, dated February 3, 2016, Subject “Reminder regarding recovery of Sana Shahid, a 13 years old Christian student who has been abducted, converted to Islam and forcibly married”
ix. Letter to Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Chief Justice Lahore High Court, dated March 21, 2016, Subject “Request for recovery of Sana Shahid, a 13 years old minor Christian student who has been forcibly married”
x. Letter to Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad, Dated April 11, 2016, Subject “Constitutional Rights of Non-Muslim Students”
FEEDBACK OF THE PMTA EFFORTS FOR SANA
i. PMTA received letter from honorable Mr. Abdul Sattar, Director NCHR, National Commission for Human Rights, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, Dy.No.2/Director(NCHR)/2015, dated 5th January, 2016, Subject “VIOLATION OF RIGHTS OF GIRL CHILD”
Note: Letter was sent to Inspector General Police, Punjab Province Lahore, Regional Police Officer, Gujranwala Range Gujranwala and District Police Officer (DPO) Sialkot. In the letter, the honorable Director has requested to look in to the matter as per law and furnish a comprehensive report to his office within 10 days from the date of issue of the said letter.
ii. PMTA received letter from honorable Mr. Mian Raza Rabbani, Chairman Senate of Pakistan, Islamabad No.1/SEN/CO/2016, dated 20th Jan. 2016 (Note) Subject is not mentioned but the reply of the letter which was sent to him on December 31, 2015 regarding abduction of a Christian girl. The honorable Chairman has mentioned in the letter, “I will forward this case to the Committee on Human Rights.”
Sir, Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association humbly requests you to protect the unprotected non-Muslim religious minority Christian and Hindu girls and women otherwise the days are not far away when all Pakistani non-Muslims will be converted to Islam, executed or forced to leave Pakistan as a result of extremism.
With best regards.
PROF. ANJUM JAMES PAUL
1. Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, President of Pakistan, President’s House, Islamabad
2. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad