Faisalabad: February 14, 2017. (PUCO) A Pakistani Christian girl named Mehwish of 14 years of age was kidnapped in March last year and forced into an Islamic marriage, after being sent to work as a domestic cleaner at the house of a Muslim man named Zahid Iqbal. Almost a year later she has still not been found despite the culprits being known.
Father of kidnapped housed maid Mehwish agreed to pay ransom money and withdraw case against Muslim culprits was shot dead after three months of incident. He received seven bullets from unidentified assailants when struggle to bring his daughter back home.
A legal battle for Mehwish that was gaining momentum was terminated as on the death of Tanveer, father of Mehwish. Apparently the case was linked to the main proponent and his death meant the family had to begin again. Sadly for the family the father has sold his house to fight for his daughter’s freedom and could not afford to reopen the case.
BPCA came to the rescue of the family and organised a safe house for them, while a Catholic charity took on a new legal case for the family. But in recent weeks the lawyer Saeed Gujjar leading the challenge for justice for Najma the wife of Tanveer and her family has passed away. The family is no longer being supported by the Catholic charity and we have been asked to cover the legal costs for the family.
The murder case and kidnap, rape and forced marriage case were all being fought in tandem. Five men were implicated in the crime including Zahid Iqbal (24 years) who forcibly married Mehwish who has been arrested for kidnap, rape and forced marriage and is the main suspect in the murder case. His father Muhammed Iqbal (55 years) has also been arrested for helping in the kidnap and forced marriage of Mehwish as he was a witness on her sham marriage papers. He had originally given himself up to the Police during initial inquiry stating that he was innocent as the marriage was legal.
Mr Ayub and Umar Daraz cousins of Zahid Iqbal were investigated and released after the questioning for their roles as the two negotiators who arranged the meeting for the proposed exchange of Mehwish for legal papers and a fiscal ransom. Police are convinced though no-one else is that the two men knew nothing of the murder that would ensue.
Tahir Iqbal a younger brother of Zahid has fled the authorities and is wanted under a warrant for his arrest for involvement in both the murder of Tanveer and the kidnapping of Mehwish