(World Watch Monitor) — A 12-year-old Pakistani Christian girl, who disappeared in November, was abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry her abductor, according to her father.
Elisha, daughter of Iqbal Masih, appeared in the High Court in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, on Thursday Feb. 8, where she introduced herself by a new Muslim name, but told the judge, Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui she had embraced Islam “for the purpose of marriage only,” a local newspaper reported.
Her father has brought charges against a Muslim man named Qadeer Ismail, who was recorded as aged 20 on the marriage certificate but who Iqbal Masih says is older. Elisha was recorded as 18 on the marriage certificate, but her father showed the police a copy of her birth certificate, which shows that she will not turn 13 until May.
In Pakistan men must be 18 to marry, and girls 16. Formalizing a marriage between persons younger than this can result in a fine equivalent to roughly 500 US dollars.