Pakistan Militants Rape Christian Girl

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jawad Mazhar, Worthy News Special Correspondent reporting from Pakistan

Christians in Pakistan's Punjab province and other areas often face persecution, rights groups say.
SANGLA HILL, PAKISTAN (Worthy News) -- A 13-year old impoverished Christian girl in Pakistan's Punjab province was recovering Thursday, February 19, after she was gang raped at gun point by five Islamic extremists, her family told Worthy News.

Family members, speaking on condition that the girl's name would not be identified, said the incident happened February 7 in a village of the Sangla Hill area when she went out to dump trash and relief herself, as most Pakistani villages have no toilets at home.

While on her way to nearby fields two Muslim men, identified as Muhammad Qalla and Muhammad Kakku, allegedly kidnapped her at gun point and forcibly took her to their nearby farmhouse where three other Muslim men were waiting.

"They ruined her chastity one by one for several hours until we reached her. She was in critical condition," a family member said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of revenge attacks.

However, "when we shouted and knocked at the door of the farmhouse, the culprits managed to escape from the back door." On request of a local Christian counsel, a local judge ordered to carry out a medical examination, which confirmed the Christian girl had been sexually molested, her family said.

Sangla Hill City Police registered a case against the alleged rapists of the Christian girl, but none of them were detained Thursday, February 19.

The reported rape is the latest in a series of violent incidents against Christian girls and women in Punjab and other areas of Pakistan. Last month police freed two Christian teenage girls when they were rescued after being kidnapped, sold to other men as sex slaves, and forced into Islam by two radical Muslims.

Sangla Hill itself was the scene of several Islamic attacks against churches and other Christian institutions in homes in recent years, after reportedly unsubstantiated desecration of the Quran, seen as a holy book by Muslims.

The government has come under pressure to improve protection of the country's Christian minority and other religious groups.