Christian Priests Are Helping Chinese Men Target Poor Pakistani Girls: AP
Christian priests are helping Chinese men target girls from impoverished backgrounds in Pakistan, a report published in Associated Press revealed.
AP said that brokers are ‘aggressively’ searching for brides for Chinese men and sometimes spend hours outside churches seeking targets. The report also said that Christian priests are being used to target poor families who are promised wealth and riches in exchange for their daughters.
Parents receive several thousand dollars and are told that their new sons-in-law are wealthy Christian converts. But the grooms turn out to neither be rich nor a convert. Most of the girls are married against their will, who spend months in isolated rural areas in China. They are abused, unable to communicate and use translation apps for even a glass of water.
Muqadas Ashraf, one such bride who married at age of 16, told AP that her husband used to abuse her. Five months after her marriage, Muqadas is back in her home country, pregnant and seeking a divorce from a husband she says was abusive.
Punjab human rights and minorities minister Aslam Augustine termed it ‘human smuggling’. He said that ‘greed’ was the main reason why these girls were being married off to Chinese nationals. “I have met with some of these girls and they are very poor,” he told AP.
Augustine also accused the Chinese government and embassy in the country of turning a blind eye to the events and issuing visas to Chinese nationals without proper verification. Chinese representatives have denied the allegations saying that they are against illegal transnational marriages.
Human Rights Watch urged Pakistan and China to probe the matter with increased concerned as there was growing evidence that Pakistani women were being sold into ‘sexual slavery’.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has so far arrested dozens of Chinese nationals and their Pakistani facilitators in Faisalabad and Gujranwala.