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Pak’s court says that marriage to a minor Christian girl is valid since she has had her first menstrual cycle

KARACHI: The parents of a 14-year-old Pakistani Christian girl, who was kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam and married to her kidnapper, will approach the Supreme Court after a lower court ruled that marriage to a girl under Age is valid according to Sharia law if you have had your first menstrual cycle.

Huma was 14 when she was kidnapped in October last year and forced to marry her abductor Abdul Jabbar after converting to Islam, according to her parents Younis and Nagheena Masih.

His lawyer, Tabassum Yousuf, said Friday that they would seek justice in the Supreme Court after the Sindh High Court, according to Sharia law, said earlier this week that even if it was discovered that the girl, Huma, was underage, the marriage between her and her alleged kidnapper, Jabbar, would be valid since she already had her first menstrual cycle.

After approaching the Sindh High Court to see her daughter, the court, at a hearing on February 3, ordered the police to monitor the evidence to confirm her age.

However, Judges Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Irshad Ali noted that, according to Sharia law, the marriage would be valid even if Huma were a minor.

Tabbasum said the ruling was not in accordance with the Sindh Child Marriage Restriction Act passed in 2014 that prohibited the marriages of girls under 18, in an attempt to stop forced marriages of minors in the province, mainly of the Hindu and Christian community.

“The girl’s parents were convinced that the police investigating officer was supporting Abdul Jabbar and his family. They also fear that the results of Huma’s age test may be falsified and that they can send it with her husband,” said the lawyer.

The parents had requested to keep Huma in a women’s shelter away from her supposed husband until her age was determined.

Tabassum said parents produced documents that include church and school documents confirming that Huma was 14 years old.

On the Independent Catholic News website, the girl’s mother has asked the international community to support them.

The latter case arose amid increasing numbers of forced conversions of girls belonging to minority communities in Muslim-majority Pakistan.

In the last month, at least two cases of forced conversion and marriage of Hindu girls after the kidnapping have emerged in the province.

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