By Jawad Mazhar, Worthy News Special Correspondent reporting from Pakistan
LAHORE, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- The parents of a Christian Pakistani girl were still searching for their daughter Thursday, August 26, nearly half a year after she was reportedly kidnapped, forced to marry a Muslim men, and pressured into embracing Islam.
House maid Samina Ayub, 17, disappeared from her working place in Lahore, the capital of Pakistan's Punjab province, March 6, said her mother Surriya Bibi in an interview with Worthy News. "After finishing her work at Chaudhary Mohammad Khalid Cheema’s house Samina was kidnapped by Ali Akbar when she was on the way to home,” she said.
After the abduction, Ayub apparently managed to briefly call her mother when Akbar forgot his mobile phone. "She told me that she did not want to live with Ali Akbar and that she wants to return to us," Bibi recalled. "Samina also said he took her to some unknown place and forced her to marry him under Islamic rites. He also forced her to embrace Islam and did not allow her to inform us about her whereabouts."
Bibi said there were indications that her daughter's employer knew Ali Akbar. "Samina told me that Akbar often came to his house and tried to talk to her."
Local police have so far failed to arrest suspects, although Samina Ayub's parents filed a police complaint soon after their daughter "suspiciously disappeared", explained Joseph Francis, who heads the Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), a major advocacy group.
"CLAAS has petitioned the local court to pressure police to recover Samina and to take legal action against Ali Akbar," he told Worthy News. Police had no comment and neither Akbar or Cheema could be reached for a reaction.
Samina Ayub is among many Christian girls who have been kidnapped and forced to embrace Islam in this heavily Muslim nation, according to rights groups.
CLAAS has urged its supporters "to pray" for this situation, added Francis.
"Samina is our only daughter," said Bibi, who made clear she still hopes she will see her again, one day.