A 14-year-old Catholic girl in Pakistan, taken from her family in December and forcibly converted to Islam, was rescued on Wednesday (April 26), her lawyer said.
Attorney Tahir Bashir said police officer Munir Ahmed on Dec. 6 illegally detained Sumbal Arif of Hafizabad District, Punjab Province and coerced her into converting to Islam while forcing her to live with him, despite attempts by her indigent family to recover her.
The girl's mother, Elizabeth Arif, on April 21 asked Bashir to recover Sumbal from the illegal custody of Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Munir Ahmed of Hafizabad Police Station, he said. Bashir said he filed for the recovery of the girl in Lahore High Court, and a court bailiff rescued her from the policeman's home on April 26 and presented her in court the next day.
"The court of Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmed has also ordered police to register a case against ASI Munir for keeping the Christian minor girl in illegal detention and forcing her to convert to Islam," he said.
The suspect's counsel claimed in court that Sumbal had "embraced" Islam, and that ASI Ahmed's family was looking after her, Bashir said.
"But when Justice Shahzad asked Sumbal about the counsel's claim, she told the judge that she was forced to convert and was being held hostage by the police official," he said. "She said she wanted to go with her family and not the police official."
The judge then ordered a First Information Report (FIR) be filed against Ahmed and allowed Sumbal to go with her family, he said.
This article continues at [Gospel Herald] Christian Girl, 14, Rescued from Muslim in Pakistan Accused of Forcibly Converting Her