The Lost girls: Unholy Vows

Imagine your name is Bharti. You are a 15-year-old Hindu girl who lives in a small apartment in Lyari. Your father is a driver and social worker who raises money for others while struggling to pay your family’s medical bills. You have three older brothers, who are busy with their own jobs and families. Your future seems bleak.

Imagine you then meet Abid. He is the son of a police constable and promises to marry you. He promises you many things – but on the condition that you convert to Islam. You agree and run away with him. His family teaches you the Kalima and gives you a niqab to wear. After a few days, they take you to a maulvi. While the nikah form is being filled, you already know what you have to say. You tell the maulvi that you are 18-years-old and your name is now Ayesha.

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By arrangement with Newsline, Pakistan

This story is from the print issue of Hardnews: MAY 2012