Forced Conversions in Pakistan: Justice for Arzoo Raja

Arzoo Raja, a 13-year old innocent child, was kidnapped on the 13th of October by a 45-year old man, Azhar Ali. The public demands justice for Arzoo!

On 24th October, a Catholic family reported that their daughter, Arzoo Raja, who was only 13-years old went missing. It had been ten days and she was nowhere to be found, as Arzoo’s father stated that she had been missing since the 13th, however, no authorities were ready to listen to his cries.

The family knew exactly what happened and where she was, however, the court in Pakistan did not seem to care enough to take this seriously. Arzoo Raja was abducted by a 44-year old man named Azhar Ali; according to Arzoo’s aunt, he always had an eye out for Arzoo as he would always visit their home, buy her presents and candies.

Moreover, a few days after surfaced the news that Arzoo Raja had converted to Islam and was happily married to Azhar Ali. The delusional man somehow managed to convince our utterly braindead justice system that a 13-year old child can consent to marriage; he forcibly abducted her, made her convert, and then married her to justify his actions further.

The forced conversion and abduction of Arzoo Raja threw the public in outrage, with people taking to social media to express the urgency of the matter and creating awareness. While some also came out on the streets to protest the wrongful conversion.

When taken to court, High Court Sindh agreed with Arzoo’s kidnappers and stated that the girl had consented to such activities due to which it is permissible. The court further announced that no arrests shall be made regarding this case.

As proceedings carried out, a video of Arzoo’s mother surfaced on the internet on the 29th, where she is crying and begging the officials to let her see her daughter. However, no one seemed to entertain her and closed the doors on her.

Our justice and law systems are severely flawed; how can one turn a blind eye to such matters? How do they sleep at night knowing that they have done wrong by an innocent child? Arzoo Raja’s family decided to reach out to Jibran Nasir for legal help.

Yesterday, in a post, Jibran Nasir had stated that his team and he would be taking this case on pro-bono. He has already mentioned several laws that were in violation within the case and has assured the people and the parents that he will make sure those laws are abided by.

According to Pakistani law, Arzoo Raja is not capable of consent over anything as she’s a minor, and you can consent only after sixteen years of age. Furthermore, Jibran Nasir has started taking immediate action on the case and is regularly updating the media about advancements in court or any other legal activities.

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