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PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (File photo)
PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (File photo)

Sindh govt to approach courts to review forced conversion, marriage of Christian teenage girl: PPP

ANI | Updated: Oct 30, 2020 20:47 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], October 30 (ANI): Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday said that the Sindh government will approach relevant courts to seek a review in the case of Arzoo, a teenage Christian girl who was allegedly abducted from her residence in Karachi, and was later forcefully converted and married off to a Muslim man.
"GOS (Government of Sindh) will approach the courts to review the #ArzooRaja underage marriage case, clear up any misunderstanding the honourable court may have, and do everything in their power to provide justice," said Zardari in a tweet, reported Dawn.
He further added that the PPP-led provincial government had passed the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act in 2013, and that the party will 'continue to fight for it to be implemented'.
Bilawal's statement comes a day after a sessions court in Karachi granted post-arrest bail to three suspects detained for allegedly abducting Arzoo, according to Dawn.
The police had claimed to have booked her purported husband Syed Ali Azhar and detained his two brothers -- Syed Shariq Ali and Syed Mohsin Ali -- along with his friend Danish over their alleged involvement in Arzoo's abduction on October 13.
All the three detained men were said to be police officials.
On Thursday, the three detained suspects moved applications before additional district and sessions judge (South) Faiza Khalil seeking grant of post-arrest bail to them.
Hidayat Ali Leghari, the defence counsel of the suspects, had said that the girl had later purportedly recorded her statement before the Sindh High Court, in which she stated that she had embraced Islam out of her free choice and had solemnised a free-will marriage with Azhar Ali without any fear or pressure.

After hearing arguments from the state prosecutor and the defence counsel, the judge granted post-arrest bail to Shariq Ali, Mohsin Ali and Danish, who is said to be posted at the Frere police station, against a surety of Rs 50,000 each.
Earlier this month, Arzoo's family members earlier this month told Dawn that her purported husband Azhar lived in a house opposite to their's along with his family and he is at least 45-year-old.
"The rascal who abducted her has prepared fake papers to show that she is 18 years old," her mother said.
The alleged abduction of the teenager had sparked protests from human rights groups against her purported forced conversion and underage marriage with a Muslim man.
Abduction, sexual assault, forced marriage, and forced conversion has also continued to negatively affect Pakistan's Christian community.
The ongoing mistreatment of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan is an issue of immense importance that nevertheless still receives scant attention from the UN or international human rights organisations.
Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan have been treated as second-class citizens, their constitution legally bars religious minorities from high government offices.
The country's Christian community continues to suffer discrimination, intolerance and instances of outright persecution.
In 2020, Pakistan has ranked fifth on the Open Doors USA World Watch List of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith. (ANI)