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In Pakistan, family seeks the return of 14-year-old daughter held in forced marriage

Christian family in Pakistan have gone to the High Court in their fight to win back their 14-year-old girl, who they say was abducted by a man who forced her to marry him and demanded she abandon her faith.

Lawyer Khalil Tahir Sandhu confirmed to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that on June 2  he submitted a petition to Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan to appeal the case of Maira Shahbaz.

The family want to overturn the ruling of Faisalabad Magistrates’ Court which on May 5 declared that Catholic girl Maira is 19 and, as such, is validly wedded to Muslim man Mohamad Nakash, who is already married with two young children.

Witnesses described how on April 28 Maira was walking close to her home in Madina Town, near Faisalabad, when Nakash and two armed accomplices drew up in a car, abducted her and fired guns into the air as they made off at speed.

Sandhu told ACN: “I am trying my very best for the case. Maira’s mother [Nighat Shahbaz] is so very sad – in fact she is a picture of sadness.

“You cannot imagine the shock of losing your daughter and losing all contact with her.”

He said that when Nighat Shahbaz saw her daughter at last month’s magistrates’ court hearing, she collapsed and was rushed to hospital with a heart attack. She is making a slow recovery.

Read more at Aleteia

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