From Compass Direct:
September 16 (Compass) “” Two Pakistani children were snatched away from their Christian mother by their Muslim father on Monday, secretly spirited out of the Lahore court premises where they had been brought for a court-supervised visitation session.
Abdul Ghaffar kidnapped his five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter on September 13, fleeing from the Lahore Family Court with them around noontime, shortly after he had begun a two-hour visit alone with them.
There has been no trace since of the whereabouts of the children or their father, who is from Gujranwala, 40 miles north of Lahore. “Their mother is very sad and very worried about the children,” a Christian lawyer involved in the case told Compass today.
The presiding judge over Ghaffar’s child custody case has declared that the abduction constituted contempt of court. He promptly filed criminal charges of kidnapping on behalf of the court against Ghaffar under Section 364 of the penal code.
In addition to the kidnapping charge, Judge Khizer Hayat Ghondal of the Lahore Family Court issued a warrant ordering local police officials to produce the two children before his court by next Monday, September 20.
For the children’s Christian mother, Maria Samar John, it was the second traumatic kidnapping in her life.
Seven years ago, as a teenager of 17, she had been abducted and held prisoner for five months until her Muslim captors literally sold her to Ghaffar for the rupees-equivalent of $2,000.
When she was forcibly married to Ghaffar, her name was changed to Kalsoom and she was forced to thumbprint a certificate of so-called “conversion” to Islam. For the next two and one-half years, she was a virtual slave in Ghaffar’s home in Gujranwala, locked in the house and beaten by both her husband and mother-in-law for refusing to say the Muslim prayers.
She had borne a son and was pregnant for the second time when she found a mislaid housekey and managed to flee her captors to return home. Soon afterwards, her husband sent men to recapture her. At the same time, her own father and brothers refused to shelter her and the baby, declaring she had shamed their family and was now a Muslim.
So in December 2000, the Lahore-based Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Shelter (CLAAS) provided lodging for Maria and her children in a safe-house location. Christian lawyers affiliated with CLAAS successfully won her lawsuit for a legal divorce from her forced marriage in February 2003.
Read it all. It’s a harrowing story.