CNA Staff, Nov 3, 2020 / 11:53 am
Arzoo Raja, a 13-year-old Catholic girl in Pakistan whom a 44-year-old man allegedly kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam, and married, has been recovered and is in protective custody.
Raja, who is from Karachi, was kidnapped in broad daylight Oct. 13 by Ali Azhar, 44. Raja’s parents were informed days later by the police that their daughter had converted to Islam and had married Azhar, allegedly of her own free will.
Her parents filed a police report, and Jibran Nasir, the family's lawyer, said the girl's parents had filed a harassment petition on her behalf in late October.
Two weeks after her abduction, on Oct. 27, the Sindh High Court, based on statements the girl gave saying she was 18, ruled the marriage was valid and that Azhar would not be arrested.