By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
LAHORE, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- Sumbal Masih, a teenage Pakistani Christian girl who was working as a maid for a Muslim family, has allegedly been "tortured" by her employers, and is now missing.
This has been alleged by a Pakistani group called World Vision in Progress (www.worldvisioninprogress.com) - no relation to World Vision -- who told the ASSIST News Service that the girl, who was aged either 15 or 16, had been working as a maid in a house in Model Town, Lahore for two years, along with her younger sister, Sadaf Masih, and a cousin named Rabiya.
Farrukh H. Saif, Executive Director of World Vision in Progress, said that on Friday, September 14, 2012, Sumbal was watching TV in the owners' room, when suddenly they came into the room "and started beating the poor girl for watching the movie."
He went on to say that she was "beaten harshly" by the couple with "pipes and iron rods" and added that "afterwards, she was taken to the washroom and terribly tortured there."
Mr. Saif stated, "She was yelling badly and crying for help. This entire incident was reported by Sumbal's cousin Rabiya. When Rabiya and other servants heard Sumbal crying for help, they ran upstairs to help her, but the owner took Sumbal to the washroom and sent Rabiya and other servants downstairs therefore they could not find that what they did with Sumbal.
"When Sumbal's parents came to know about this incident through Rabiya, they ran to get their daughters back but the owners said that Sumbal has fled from their house and they didn't know anything about her. They are not even giving Sadaf the second daughter back to them."
He said that World Vision in Progress ground officer, Nipoleon Qayyum, along with WVIP team members, began "looking into the matter" and went with the mother of the girls, Basheera bibi, to the house.
The mother was eventually allowed in, but could get no answers, and finally the father of the young girl called the police to the scene, but the owners just made "excuses" about what had occurred and said they didn't know where she now was.
Mr. Saif says that, after taking advice from the Additional Session Court, his organization plans to file a First Information Report (FIR) against the couple.
On hearing of this latest case, Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said, "Yet again we have violence against a teenage Christian maid. The fact that the family are refusing her mother access is very disturbing.
"What are they covering up? Is it the fact that the girl was murdered, as in a recent case where a senior lawyer in the same city tortured to death a young Christian girl servant? Is it to try and concoct a story about her condition, or has she been raped and forced to marry and convert as so many young Christian girls are?
"Whatever the situation, it can't be good, and we call upon the police and courts to act speedily and thoroughly and without regard to threats or the faith of the perpetrator."