629 girls and women from across Pakistan have fallen victim to the Chinese marriage scam. The numbers were revealed by The Associated Press and were compiled by Pakistani investigators to break up the network of human trafficking operating very acutely in Pakistan.
Pakistani authorities recently arrested 8 men involved in human trafficking and forced prostitution. According to the initial investigations, Pakistan’s Chinese brides are lured and married, and later sold. The horrific claims of human trafficking lead to authorities probing an investigation into the matter, leading to them apprehending a Lahore-based gang involved in the heinous crime and exposing the racket a few months back.
Illegal marriage bureaus usually arrange marriages between the couples, producing fake documents of Chinese men and promising the girls a ‘bright’ future. However, once married, the helpless girls are caught up in a network that doesn’t have an exit door.
Pakistan’s Chinese brides are then stuck in a culture they barely know, the language they hardly understand, completely bank about how to go back home. Making it one of the worst human rights crisis of current times, the fate of these poor women is unknown. No one knows the exact number of women who have fallen victim to the network, however, a recent report has provided some information about it.
What do they face? The victim speaks
“He got my number from our relatives. They called us and came home to see me” – a victim shared her chilling experience while speaking to Samaa TV.
“He came to see me with three other men.” – she added.
She narrated that she was told the man has some problems with his knee, but when she saw him, he was completely paralyzed. These gangs mostly target underprivileged Christian women, promise them a good future, monthly pocket money, cellphones, etc. They produce fake documents showing them as Muslims or Christians.
“After a few days, I came to know that he wasn’t a Christian.” – the victim said.
After that, she was forced to indulge in indecent acts against her will. She told that they insisted to take her to the club and said she will get good money in return.
The victim claimed Chinese men also sell children
The victim added that they take the children away after they are born and sell them. These gangs are active in Pakistan because of CPEC and the business opportunities here. For all of these reasons, it makes it easy for these men to trap women and gain their trust.
The concerns rose previously following the arrests of middlemen, who were involved in trapping underprivileged Pakistani girls, promising them Rs 40k monthly, along with cellphones and Chinese visas. The topic further became the talk of the town after a TV channel aired images of teenage girls accompanied by Chinese men at a marriage center in Lahore.
The recent report by AP News has brought the cases into the limelight once again. According to the report, the biggest arrest made in connection with the case has ‘fallen apart’. In October, a court in Faisalabad acquitted 31 Chinese nationals who were accused of their involvement in the trafficking network.
Many women, who were initially interviewed by the police, later refused to testify because they were threatened and bribed to stay silent. The information was shared by the said source, quoting an official who requested anonymity because they fear for their future after speaking out.
Saleem Iqbal, a Christian activist who has helped many families rescue these girls, further added that the FIA officials are under extreme pressure to curtail the investigation.
“Some (FIA officials) were even transferred. When we talk to Pakistani rulers, they don’t pay any attention,” he said.
What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments bar below.