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World News

Doctor in Pakistan 'forcefully converts 13-year-old Christian girl to work in kitchen'

The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) is calling on the government in Pakistan to intervene to help a family get their daughter back following allegations she was forcefully converted to Islam.

Munawar Masih, a Christian by faith, and his wife Mehtan Bibi from Muzaffargarh, work with a local landlord for Rs. 8000 a month. They have eight children: Neha 13, Sneha 11, Marriam 12, Anaya 7, Vishal, 9, Sagar 8, Prem,10 and Adeel, 6.

Four years ago, because of the family's financial situation, daughter's Neha and Sneha went to live and work for a doctor and his wife on the premise they would be given Rs. 10,000 per month and that their family would be able to visit them occasionally.

However, Munawar Masih, said at the end of the month he was paid only Rs. 3000, with the doctor saying the girls were too young. 

Sneha has returned to her family after she became ill but Neha remains with the doctor and his wife who have said they aren't willing to return her and that Neha has embraced Islam.

According to CLASS, the doctor explained to Masih that since they were Muslims, it was not possible for them to allow any non-Muslim to enter the kitchen and touch their food items and kitchen utensils. 

There have also been allegations that the girls were treated like slaves and physically assaulted.

Nasir Saeed, Director of CLAAS-UK said in a statement: "Perhaps Pakistan is the only country where such crimes are happening on a daily basis under the cover of Islam. It cannot be justified at any cost that a young girl was converted to Islam against her will and without her parents' knowledge and now she cannot be returned to her parents because her parents are Christians, and she cannot be allowed to live them. 
 
This is the most egregious example of modern slavery and religious abuse. There is no room for such callous justification in modern society. Pakistan cannot continue in the dark ages of Islamic practices to enslave Christian and Hindu girls in Pakistan.

"No such law exists in Pakistan under which any child can be converted to Islam and enslaved for life time in the name of Islam. It is a serious violation of local and international human rights laws, especially the convention on children Rights, Pakistan has ratified."

He stressed that the government should immediately intervene and register a case against the doctor and help the family to get their daughter back. 

Pakistan is considered the fifth most dangerous country in the world for Christians, the EU has already issued warnings and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom(USCIRF) has designated Pakistan a country of particular concern (CPC) for violation of religious freedom.

CLAAS is an interdenominational organisation working for Christians who are being persecuted because of their faith in Pakistan. 

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