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Pakistani Christian mother of three forced to convert to Islam by kidnapper


26 March 2019

A Pakistani Christian mother of three was abducted, tortured and forced to convert to Islam by a Muslim man who then forced her to marry him, according to local news sources.

Saima Iqbal, who was already married to a Christian man, tearfully described in a Facebook video how she was snatched from her home on the evening of 25 February.

Pakistani Christian mother, Saima Iqbal, was reunited with her husband after harrowing kidnapping ordeal [Image credit: International Minorities Concern (Facebook video)]
Pakistani Christian mother, Saima Iqbal, was reunited with her husband after harrowing kidnapping ordeal [Image credit: International Minorities Concern (Facebook video)]

Saima’s husband, Naveed Iqbal, reported the matter to police but they initially refused to investigate and sided with the kidnapper.

Mr Iqbal said the police only acted after he threatened to set himself on fire.

Mrs Iqbal was reunited with her husband and children, aged 4, 8 and 13, after her kidnapper, Muhammad Khalid Sati, was arrested on 5 March.

“I have challenged the forced conversion and the forced marriage of my wife in a magistrate’s court,” said Mr Iqbal, who is awaiting the court’s judgment.

Non-Muslim girls and women in Pakistan are very vulnerable to kidnap, forced conversion and marriage to Muslims, and authorities rarely intervene. A report compiled by a Pakistani NGO in 2014 estimated that every year at least 700 Christian and 300 Hindu girls and young women in Pakistan suffer this kind of abuse.