The scars of Maira Shahbaz forced-conversion case were not yet healed and another incident of abduction and forced conversion of minor Christian girl, Arzoo Masih, has occurred in Karachi. Rise in cases of forced conversion of minor girls hailing from religious minorities is a matter of concern.

Such incidents can not be considered a petty crime; in fact, it is a heinous crime that not only ruins the whole life of a victim but her family members as well. Can any one believe that a 13-year-old girl fell in love with 44-year-old man and left her home to live with him as his spouse? How can a 13-year-old girl get in to a marriage agreement? How can police stand with accused and pressurized the victim’s family? Where is the rule of law?

This horrific incident of abduction and forced conversion of 13-year-old Christian girl was happened on October 13. Arzoo Masih was playing outside her home in Karachi's St. Anthony's Parish. Arzoo is the youngest of four children in her family.

According to Arzoo's mother, Rita Masih, she and her husband were at work on that unfortunate day when they received a phone call from a close relative that Arzoo had gone missing.

The family rushed towards the police station and filed a kidnapping complaint. Later, on October 15, the police summoned the family to the station where they were shown marriage papers which claimed Arzoo Masih was 18 years of age and had willingly converted to Islam after marrying 44-year-old Ali Azhar.

Raja Lal Masih, Arzoo's father, said he was "deeply concerned" over his daughter's safety. He wanted authorities to trace and bring her home.

Unfortunately, forced conversion is becoming an easy practice and it is too often disguised as voluntary conversions which resulted in disastrous situation for victim and her family. 

A bill against forced conversions introduced in 2016 in the Sindh Provincial Assembly has not been passed yet. The Sindh government had bowed to pressure from specific segment which had objected to the bill.

There is a dying need to review and pass the bill without succumbing to the pressure exerted by any individuals or parties that has objections over it. There is a need to understand that it is a matter of precious lives of innocent souls. Legislation is the need of the hour to protect minor girls of religious minorities.