A Pakistani Christian girl was sold to a Muslim rapist by a Muslim woman who was close friends with her parents. The man who is known to traffick young girls has now said that teenager is in an Islamic marriage with him – forcing the parents into a long and difficult court case in order to rescue their child from his clutches.
Please sign our petition (click here)
On March 25th of this year their 15 year old daughter Shalet Javed left her family home in Dhandra, Faisalabad after an altercation with her sibling. Shalet didn’t wander the streets aimlessly. She headed straight to the house of a trusted family friend, Goshi (36 yrs) around two miles away. Goshi was so near and dear to Shalet’s heart that she considered her an aunt. The entire family considered Goshi to be a relative and they all trusted her. Soon, to their horror, they would realize that their trust had been misplaced.
Shalet’s mother Tasleem (right) with father Javed Masih (45 yrs) are seeking help to retrieve their daughter.
After a long day of taking care of her mother-in-law, who was recovering from eye surgery, Tasleem (35 yrs) went over to retrieve her daughter from Goshi’s house. Tasleem knew of Shalet’s whereabouts due to the fact that Shalet had called her earlier in the day. Tasleem had no concerns over her young daughter’s safety as it was custom for Shalet to spend time at Goshi’s house. Nothing signified that this would be a day different than any other.
However, Tasleem soon realized that something was very wrong when Goshi denied ever seeing Shalet. Torn between doubting the word of a trusted friend, and the safety of her own child, Tasleem returned home devastated and confused. Her pain did not go unnoticed. A concerned neighbour advised her to investigate the cell phone number in which Shalet had called from earlier in the day.
Data from the phone’s SIM card revealed that Shalet made the call from a cell phone belonging to a woman named Rukhsana (42 yrs) who lived in Salam Pura where Goshi resides.
With this new information in hand Tasleem went to Goshi to ask her if she ever met Rukhsana. Goshi stated that she knew of Rukhsana, but denied having any involvement with her. Goshi then promised to help Tasleem find Rukhsana and Shalet, but her promises soon fell through. In a state of distress and panic Tasleem informed Goshi that if Shalet was not returned soon, the police would have to intervene.
Goshi’s confidence gave way after realizing the police would likely have to investigate. Tasleem was then promised that her daughter would be returned to her the following day, and that there was no need to involve the police. With the last bit of trust and hope in her friend, Tasleem waited patiently for her daughter’s return, only to have her heart broken once again.
Tasleem was forced to go to the authorities in the hopes that her daughter would be found and returned safely. Unfortunately the police were not cooperative, believing that Shalet had simply eloped, despite no evidence to support this theory.
It took three days for Tasleem and her husband to convince the police that this was a serious matter at hand, and that their daughter’s life could be in jeopardy. With every passing day they were losing the chance of ever finding Shalet.
Rukhsana was eventually found and arrested. She confessed to the police that she sold the 15 year old girl to a man named Rafel (28 yrs) knowing full he was involved in the trafficking of women. Although Rukhsana admitted to her involvement with the disappearance of Shalet, she could not shed a light on the location of the teen’s whereabouts.
Further investigation suggested that Rafel was a dangerous man who often bought and sold young girls. This increased Tasleem’s and Masih anxieties about their daughter’s safety. They urged the police to take Rafel into custody but any attempts to arrest him have failed.
One week later Tasleem and Masih received a letter in the post which included a Muslim Nikkah (marriage certificate) which claimed that Shalet had married a man named Zafar Iqbal (age unknown), and that she had converted to Islam. It was not long before the Nikkah was proven to be fraudulent as it had no identity card numbers.
BPCA officer Zeeshan Masih prays with family of Shalet.
Tasleem and Masih want nothing more than their daughter returned home, but they can’t do it alone. It is suspected that even the police have been bribed which lead to the release of Rukhsana and Rafel on bail – despite Rafel never even being questioned which leads us to believe there is some foul play. Both Rafel and Rukhsana are now in hiding which makes it more difficult for Shalet to be found.
In order for Shalet to be returned home safely Tasleem and Masih need to seek legal representation and fast. However, their financial circumstances wont allow for them to hire the legal council they desperately need.
“My daughter must be frightened and scared and her innocence is now lost to a cruel evil man.
“My heart breaks with sorrow but I continue to pl;ace my trust in God only He can return my daughter.
“I am broken that a person I called friend for so many years was able to treat my daughter and family in this manner, it is a real shock.
“Vengeance will be for God but for now I just want my daughter returned, please pray for us.”
Masih suffers from a spinal cord injury which prevents him from working. His two oldest sons work at a brick kiln, but their combined wages are hardly enough to hire a reputable lawyer. Tasleem works as a maid and so did Shalet. Shalet’s parents could never afford to send her to school, and now they cannot afford to bring her back home. In total Tasleem and Masih have seven children to provide for.
Wilson Chowdhry. Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
“The failure for police to register a first information report immediately is a woeful depiction of the ongoing corruption in the police force pf Pakistan.
“Worse still the release on bail of two people implicated in a rape case is bemusing to say the least especially as Rukhsana has admitted selling the child to Rafel.
“It is believed that the police constabulary has been bribed and nothing would suggest to me that this notion is false.
“This traversty of justice is commonplace in Pakistan and we must help this family challenge both the police service and for freedom for their daughter, for our collective conscience.”
“This shameful kidnap, rape and forced marriage adds to a growing list.
“It is estimated that 700 Christian girls are entrapped under this barbaric tradition which is enacted by Muslim men attracted to often much younger women, knowing full well their crimes come with impunity under existing Sharia law.
“Rogue Imams teach that a special place can be reached in heaven for forced conversion in this way, which makes the whole process even more rewarding for already sexually deviant men.
“Pakistan must protect minority women by removing these archaic laws and entering the 21st century with a desire for a more egalitarian future.”
Although this is a horrific event it doesn’t have to end in tragedy. We can bring Shalet home. No child should be bought and sold. No child should be treated as property or as a commodity. I want to remind you that Tasleem and her husband are helpless at the hands of a corrupt system and untrustworthy friends. We are the only hope of Shalet returning home safely but need to raise at least £400 to hire a professional solicitor, we are also helping the family financially as they take time off work to challenge for the return of their daughter. They are seeking £100 a month to help them cover the wages of the father and around £400 for a decent legal team. Please, bring Shalet home before it is too late by donating (here).
Please sign our petition (click here)