Fides Agency reports on the words of Cardinal Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi, during a meeting organized by the “Justice and Peace” Commission of the local Church: “Firstly, we are Pakistani citizens and then we are a religious minority.”
Topic of debate: the kidnappings of underage Christian girls, forced to convert and marry their kidnappers, and in particular the recent case of Arzoo Raja, a thirteen-year-old from Karachi.
The Cardinal stressed that this is not a religious issue, but above all a civil one: “We are citizens of Pakistan and the law is the same for all citizens of Pakistan; it is the responsibility of the State to guarantee justice to its citizens. The issue of kidnapping, forced conversions and forced marriages should be dealt with on the basis of human rights, rather than turning it into a religious issue. It is the responsibility of the State to provide protection, safeguard and guarantee justice to all citizens, without distinction of creed, culture, ethnicity, social class ”.
Cardinal Coutts then thanked all the politicians, human rights activists, exponents of the judiciary, who intervened to denounce and support justice in the case of Arzoo Raja. He also urged not to spread false or unconfirmed news about cases of kidnappings, conversions or forced marriages, so as not to damage real situations.