NAROWAL: As the Federal Investigation Agency steps up its crackdown on a Chinese gang involved in deceiving under-privileged Pakistani girls and marrying them off with Chinese nationals on various false pretexts, two such cases have emerged from Narowal where the ‘marriages’ took place in January but the parents of the girls refused to let them go with their Chinese ‘husbands’.
Labourer Faryad Masih, a resident of Cheenay Saggle village, said priest Babu Javed, a resident of Abid Town near Narowal Grid Station, used to visit their house for prayers and religious rites. Faryad is a brick kiln worker and has six daughters and a minor son.
“In December 2018, Javed convinced me after my repeated refusals to send my daughters Isha alias Asia, 17, and Sunita, 16, to Islamabad to get them married to Chinese men, saying my daughters will go to China and I will get business, a new house and cash and a car. I became greedy and agreed,” he began explaining what went down.
Parents realised they were tricked, refused to let daughters leave for China
He further said Javed came to his house on Jan 3, 2019 and asked him to take his wife Nasreen and the two daughters to Islamabad immediately. “We reached Islamabad at 8pm. Javed took us to a huge house where Isha was married to Le Ze Dang and Sunita to Chen Sing Biao. There were about 25 to 30 Chinese nationals in the house, the security was very tight and many of them carried weapons on them.”
Following the ‘wedding’, Faryad said, he and his wife were sent back to Narowal. “When we told our relatives about the wedding, they told us we have handed over our daughters to human smugglers, who will sell them in China.”
Faryad’s wife Nasreen said: “We told Javed that the girls may have been married but we will send them to China from our home in Narowal. At first, he hesitated, but later agreed. On Jan 15, he brought our daughters home and said they’ll leave for China in a week. We hid our daughters and decided we won’t let them go.”
The girls’ maternal grandfather, Inayat Masih, said Javed returned a week later to take the girls along with three Chinese men and a woman. He claimed that Javed had sold his granddaughters to the Chinese for Rs1.6 million. “We sent back the Chinese with the help of local influentials and elders. The Chinese would take girls to China with the help of Pakistani facilitators through fake wedding documents and force them to work as sex workers,” he explained.
One of the girls, Isha, narrated her ordeal, saying that Javed took her and her sister to Islamabad on the pretext of jobs, but forcefully married them off to Chinese men, threatening that if they didn’t sign the marriage documents they would be killed.
Faryad further tried to justify why he initially made the mistake of trusting Javed. “I became greedy due to the life we live in poverty. I thought I have spent my life in poverty, but my daughters should live a comfortable one.”
He added that a couple of weeks ago he had filed a case in local court for dissolution of marriage. He also demanded Prime Minister Imran Khan take action against human smugglers and their facilitators so that no other poor family was swindled.
Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2019