Ghulam Mohammad Korai Intimidates a Christian Nurse
Ms. Nazia Masih, 27, a Catholic Christian by faith and a nurse by profession, is hiding from an influential landlord and the police from the Sanghar district. The landlord and perpetrator, Ghulam Mohammad Korai (alias Ghulam Mohammad Bhatti), claims himself to be the assistant to Sharjeel Memon, Provincial Minister for Information, and uses district administration and the police for his own, sometimes criminal purposes. He felt insulted when the nurse refused to marry him and convert to Islam.
He was an assistant to the Minister for four years but was removed from the post in 2012. He still introduces himself as an assistant to the Minister and even the provincial administration and police treat him as a high government officer.
Hindu and Christian community members claim that Ghulam is known in the district as someone who has already abducted, raped and forcibly converted local Hindu women to Islam. Those who dared to report him for rape were unable to obtain justice.
Nazia was a resident of Padri jo Goth, Sanghir district, a village for Catholic Christians. She completed her nursing course and joined Chiniot Hospital, Karachi. Ghulam was stalking her during her studies. After completing her studies, she wanted to take a job in Karachi, as her family had always felt insecure in Sanghar. However, Ghulam, while still assistant to the information minister, followed and attacked her at the Chiniot hospital. He was drunk and with his goons. He demanded that she should be handed over to him, claiming that she was his wife, and that he wanted to take her home. The hospital authorities refused to hand her over after seeing the condition of perpetrator. Then he started threatening hospital authorities and Nazia through telephone calls.
Nazia left the job and joined another hospital, National Hospital, at Kalapul in Karachi. Ghulam carried out the same attacks there, and whenever the hospital authorities complained to the police, they were told that he is an influential man. Nazia also had to leave that job. She joined an official government hospital, Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi. On at least one occasion he tried to abduct her from there through his goons. In the meantime, some landlords of the area approached her parents, asking them to marry her to Ghulam, saying that he will convert her to Islam and give her superiority over his first wife. When her parents and siblings rejected the offer, the landlords threatened to abduct her.
Nazia’s parents decided to marry her with a Christian and on the day of engagement, May 27 2013, Ghulam attacked the ceremony with a big contingent of police and claimed that she was his wife. Police wanted to arrest her and her fiancé but the elder Christians and church people intervened and it was decided that her father and brother be arrested until the time Ghulam brought his marriage documents. Ghulam failed to bring papers, saying that all were burned and that there was no evidence, not even a photograph. Nazia also filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Ghulam Mohammad for harassment and death threats but the Sanghar city police station refused to file the FIR against him as he was an assistant to the Minister.
Nazia filed an application in the Sanghar session court and on July 21 the judge favoured her position when, again, Ghulam could not prove his marriage with her. The judge asked the police to provide protection to her and her family, and held that they should not be arrested. But the Frere police, Karachi, issued a warrant of arrest against Nazia on the complaint of perpetrator, who claimed that she was his wife and that she and her sister had stolen money (Pk Rs. seven hundred thousand), along with gold jewelry. She and her lawyer contacted senior police officers and informed them about the case in detail, including the orders of the session court. She also filed an application in the provincial High Court of Sindh for her protection. In the meantime, her lawyer, Dliawar G Bhatti, was also attacked by unknown persons as he was coming out from the High Court building.
The victim, Nazia, and her family is terrified and in hiding, moving from place to place. Ghulam is continuously chasing Nazia with the help of the local administration and police. He remained special assistant to two different ministers in the province.
Catholic woman kidnapped, drugged, and forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim may now be sold abroad.
There are fears for the life of Farah Hatim, the Catholic girl kidnapped and forced into marriage and conversion to Islam in the city ofRahim YarKhan in southernPunjab. As the girl`s family refer to Fides, Farah is constantly drugged and her life is in danger.
Meanwhile, attempts to discourage the family to carry on with the request to free Farah are still in progress. Recently, Qasim and Huma Hatim, the victim`s brother and sister, were summoned by the local police who showed them the marriage certificate, a declaration of conversion to Islam and a picture of Farah, in traditional Muslim clothes. The police concluded that “everything is in order”, stressing the request to abandon all claims on behalf of the family. According to Huma and Qasim, the documents are obviously artifacts. The supposed signatures of Farah are in Urdu – they observe- while the girl used to sign in English. In the photo, moreover, the girl is totally veiled, “to hide the beatings”, they said. “The police wants to convince us to forget Farah, but we will carry on” say the family members.
“It will be difficult to win this battle and get the girl back”, said Lawrence Saldanha to Fides, Archbishop Emeritus of Lahore , and for several years President of the Episcopal Conference. “The law is not in our favor, and then there is a lot of pressure on Christians and public officials’ he remarks.”It must be said that our Justice and Peace Commission document numerous cases like this. And many cases remain unsolved, because Christians are threatened and are afraid to expose themselves. These are blatant violations of human rights, freedom of conscience and religion”.
As already reported in recent months to Fides from local sources, forced conversions to Islam, rapes and forced marriages are increasing in Pakistan. The victims are mostly Hindu and Christian girls, the most vulnerable because they come from poor, defenseless, marginalized communities, therefore easily exposed to harassment, threats and violence. They often do not have the courage to denounce the assaults.
We who are still free must speak out for them. There should be no foreign aid toPakistan until Farah Hatim is released. AndSaba and Anila Masih. And Asia Bibi, Hector Aleem, all non-Muslim captives, and all Pakistani prisoners of conscience, especially those held for “blasphemy.”
In Pakistan, at least 700 Christian girls are kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam every year, according to Fides’ estimate. And sold abroad or not, any fate for Farah Hatim short of her being reunited with her family and legally recognized again as a Christian, and not a Muslim, is intolerable.
There is “no compulsion in religion” (Qur’an 2:256). And so Farah was made to sign a document saying she married and converted freely. Is there “no compulsion” in kidnapping victims’ signing documents, too?
The claim of “no compulsion” is used as a shell game by many. Some quote other verses from the Holy Quran like 9:29 which talks of alternatives to conversion as subjugation or war.
The Christians are saying that the goal is to make life so difficult, so terrifying, and so intolerable as to make the targeted non-Muslims convert under duress… at which point their overlords will crow about their supposedly “free” choice.
And most crucially, after a certain point, the lines between persuasion and compulsion become blurred, and those doing the compelling could care less, because it is difficult, if not dangerous, to challenge those wielding power under Islamic law on where the distinction lies.
An update on this story. “Kidnapped Pakistani Christian may be sold abroad,” from Catholic Culture, June 13 (thanks to Twostellas).
Pakistani Catholic sources have told the Fides news agency that a 24-year-old Christian woman who was kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam, and forced to marry a Muslim may soon be sold abroad.
Farah Hatim, 24, “was forced to sign a declaration stating that she had converted and married to her will,” said a Pakistani nun. “The text was brought to the police and in court, so legally the case is considered closed. It will be possible to reopen it only with a written statement, in which Farah testifies that these communications were drawn out by threats and torture.”
The nun called for prayer and international pressure to help secure Hatim’s releases.