Muslim man bathes Christian girl in acid for refusing his advances
Rizwan covered Asma with large amounts of acid, then lit the flammable solution before fleeing the scene.
The 25-year-old Christian woman in based Sialkot, Pakistan was attacked by the 30-yr-old suspect, Rizwan Gujjar, who left her disfigured.
The victim has been working as a beautician for the last two years and was making a good living.
It was gathered that her 23-year-old brother, Nabeel Yaqoob who works as a panaflex-maker (banner print-worker), met Rizwan and over a period of time, became friends with him.
Rizwan often visited Nabeel at his family home and during one of such visits, he met and fell in love with Asma.
Asma had been friendly to Rizwan because of his relationship with her brother but 3 months ago when the suspect asked for Asma's hand in marriage, she turned him down flat.
According to the reports, Asma did not embarass the suspect by informing her family of the development, especially out of concern for her brother.
Rizwan soon developed a harsh attitude towards Asma and being unable to control his feelings, planned to attack her.
On April 10, 2018, Asma went to work on a bride in Pak Pura town, Sialkot. At about 11 pm, Asma received information that her brother was looking for her.
However, Asma found Rizwan waiting for her as he had used her brother's name to deceive her into meeting him.
Rizwan immediately covered Asma with large amounts of acid, then lit the flammable solution before fleeing the scene.
Asma screamed as the fire engulfed her but the bride's family quickly put out the flames and rushed Asma to the nearby Civil Hospital.
Asma's family were later informed that Asma had little chance of survival because she had suffered 90% burns and the hospital had no special burns unit.
The victim was later taken to Mayo Hospital, Lahore.
Asma is recovering very slowly now after being admitted for the past 10 days but doctors fear even the slightest infection could kill her.
Rizwan has since been arrested after Asma's family lodged a report with the Haji Pura Police Station on the day of the attack. The police have reportedly begun an investigation into the case after which Rizwan will be charged to court.
The Chairman of the BPCA, Wilson Chowdhry, said:
"This depraved attack reveals the low worth of Christian girls in the mindset that has evolved amongst most Muslim men in Pakistan. Through a biased national curriculum and rogue Imams preaching a special place in heaven for those who rape and convert Christian girls, most of them deem minority women as war-booty.
"A Muslim NGO in 2014 estimated 700 Christians girls are kidnapped, raped and forced into Islamic marriage, but did not take into account the many other crimes Christian women face.
"Even the figure they suggest for the abductions seems extremely low but that is too be expected, as most families do not pursue justice after becoming despondent due to police inactivity when crimes are reported.
"Seeing young Asma in such pain is heart-wrenching for all of us in the West, but the authorities of Pakistan just seem to accept this as the culture of Pakistan. It is this warped belief that has to be reconstructed before we can start to fashion a new more egalitarian nation, however the desire will have to be one driven by the country's Government - sadly I have never experienced a more selfish bunch of politicians."
Keri-Lynn Gibbs, British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) researcher, said:
"Acid attacks are a very real threat and have become increasingly frequent across the world over the past few years. Viciously threatening to mar the life of an innocent woman for spurning sexual advances is not something that should be tolerated in a civil society.
"In Pakistan these horrible violations happen so frequently that there is an organization wholey committed to helping victims of acid attacks, so we hope that law enforcement will take not only this attack seriously but the sexual harassment of particularly marginalized groups like religious minorities so such atrocities can be prevented.
"Despite forced marriage being made illegal in 2017, the statistics show that upward of 700 Christian girls are kidnapped, raped and forced into Islamic marriage every year, and this shows no signs of decreasing. Martial choice, especially for the meagre percentage of Pakistani Christians, remains a concern when the risks of refusing a marriage proposal from a man with a seemingly higher social standing are so great.
"The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) reports that 143 women were victims of acid attack or were set on fire in 2017, an action that has unfortunately become a possible response for spurned suitors after having a marriage proposal declined. Another incident happened in Punjab province to 3 Gurat University students just days ago."
Asma is currently receiving special medical treatment but has been advised to get to a private hospital to receive the required care for the period of time it will be needed.
Asma's family members are seeking assistance to cover the costs of the necessary specialist services.
The BPCA has created an appeal to help with Asma's ongoing care and treatment. If you would like to contribute you can donate to by clicking (here).
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