The court has ordered to recover 13-year-old Arzoo Masih and shift the minor to a shelter home for protection until the next hearing which is scheduled for Thursday morning.
Justice for Arzoo Masih took over social media a few days ago when the 13-year-old was kidnapped from her home, forced to convert and marry a 44-year-old man identified as Syed Ali Azhar.
The incident took place on October 13 when both her parents were at work but they rushed to the police station upon hearing the news and filed a report.
Both the parents were summoned by police two days later and presented documents claiming that their daughter, Arzoo Masih, had converted to Islam and married a 44-year-old man.
It is pertinent to mention that those documentations were fake and claimed that Azroo Masih was 18 years old to justify the marriage with a man almost thrice her age.
However, the girl’s father, Raja Lal Masih, produced government documents showing Arzoo’s real age which is 13 years old but both the parents were still denied the right to see their daughter.
Things got worse when a judicial magistrate granted bail to Ali Azhar’s brothers and friends while the Sindh High Court (SHC) restrained the police from arresting the 44-year-old prime suspect himself.
This move was criticized by the family’s lawyer Muhammad Jibran Nasir who stated:
[It is] extremely unfortunate that the magistrate [is] ignoring mandatory provisions of law and specific powers given to him for protection of children. [He] refused to issue search warrants in view of [the SHC] order. Such perverse interpretations hurt citizens.
Any harm caused to Arzoo is on the judges now.
The matter got more complicated as a statement was made by Arzoo Masih stating that she converted to Islam willingly as well as the choice to marry Syed Ali Azhar was her of her own free will.
Furthermore, the consummation of the child marriage is tantamount to statutory rape considering Arzoo Masih is only 13 years of age while her kidnapper and husband Syed Ali Azhar is 44 years old.
However, the court has now ordered that the Arzoo Raja should be recovered by police and shited to a shelter home till the next hearing scheduled on Thursday according to Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari.
While the family’s lawyer has also confirmed the same news and mentioned that she will be produced before the court on Thursday (Nov 5th) and the issues that will be addressed are her age, forceful conversion and marriage to man thrice her age.
Another video is making rounds on the internet showing how Arzoo Masih completely rejected her mother when they finally met in front of police officials.
Many people have been praising the kidnapper and the conversion but these people forget that the girl is a minor. She cannot make these decisions herself as per law.
Arzoo Masih is a child who deserves to live a carefree childhood instead of worrying about marriage and being sexually assaulted by an old man almost three times her age which can have long-term psychological issues.