CLAAS demands justice for 13-year-old Christian rape victim
CLAAS recently visited a Christian family in Kot Waris near Gujranwala to help them to get justice for their 13-year-old daughter who was raped.
Saira was assaulted by Muslim Amir Zaman last month.
A criminal case was registered against Zaman after Saira’s father Afzal Masih complained and medical reports.
Apart from meeting the family, CLAAS also visited the police station in Saddar Wazirabad to gather facts and collect a copy of the FIR.
CLAAS was told that Zaman was in police custody being interrogated, and once his remand was over he would be sent to jail.
Saira’s family had been living in the village for the last 20-25 years and working on the farmhouse of a local landlord Chaudhry Ishtiaq Ahmed.
Afzal Msih, Saira’s father has seven children and all of them work on the same farmhouse to support their father.
On January 14, 2018 Afzal Masih was busy in arrangements for Chaudhry Ishtiaq’s son’s wedding while Saira went to work with her little cousin.
When Saira reached the farmhouse Zaman noticed that she was unaccompanied by any adult family member that day.
Taking advantage of the situation, Zaman lured both girls inside the stable and started beating them up.
He then tied Saira’s cousin to a pillar using both their scarves and then forcibly took Saira to the nearby fields where he raped her.
When the girls did not return home after some time, Saira’s family went to look for them.
They reached the farmhouse and found her little cousin tied up and she told them what had happened.
They then searched for Saira and heard her shouting for help in the fields while Zaman slipped from the scene when he saw her father approaching.
Saira was taken to a nearby hospital.
Amir Zaman had been recently employed by the landlord to work at his farmhouse along with another man named Ali. When the landlord was told about the whole situation, he supported the family and made efforts to have Zaman arrested.
Afzal Masih explained that although they are the religious minority in the village, his neighbours stood with him in solidarity.
Unfortunately, recently we have come across several such cases in Pakistan, and Christian girls are more vulnerable than anyone else. Even the police pay them less attention and do not register the case unless they are bribed, influenced or pressured.
Apart from supporting the victims, CLAAS has been regularly raising its voice at the international level but it is all falling on the deaf ears on the Pakistani government. Christians are the most vulnerable community and have no voice in Paksitan.