Pakistan and the curious case of ‘Made in China’ weddings

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First Published 15, Apr 2019, 6:50 PM IST
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Pakistan and the curious case of Made in China weddings
Highlights

A recent report on Pakistan channel ARY news revealed a human trafficking racket originating from China that involves illegally marrying off underage Muslim girls into sex slavery and organ sale.
 

New Delhi: While India was playing host to many big, fat Indian weddings courtesy the Ambani and Priyanka Chopra-Nick Jonas nuptials; across the border in Pakistan, marriages were being made not in heaven but in China. As Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was busy debating whether he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, many under-age women in the country were being married into sex-slavery. Literally.

Also read: Pakistan pleads with China to continue to veto UNSC sanction on Masood Azhar

Made in China wedding

A recent report on Pakistan channel ARY news revealed that underage girls in the country were being married into sex slavery and the black market for organ sale. The Sar-e-Aam programme showed the Chinese men pretending to be Muslims lure Pakistani girls from economically weak backgrounds with a monthly sum of Rs 40,000, mobile phone and Chinese visas.

The investigation revealed that the so-called matchmaking agencies from China bring in eligible Chinese bachelors for these fake marriages with girls as young as 13-years-old. And, that is not the only thing fictitious. The men are armed with fake certificates claiming to be Muslims with Islamic names though they do not even know the first Kalma.

 

And, it turns out the great One Border One Road (OBOR) seems to be the root cause of this. Pakistan had joined forces with the Dragon in its bid to reopen the historical Silk route and connect about 78 countries in the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe.

The local matchmakers reportedly told the TV channel they entice the families into the marriage arrangement claiming that their Chinese son-in-law was seeking Pakistani citizenship so he could invest in the country through OBOR.

Waking the sleeping Dragon

PM Khan has remained mum on the issue, unlike his response to China’s treatment of the Uyghur Muslims where he claimed he ‘did not know much about the issue’.

On the other hand, the Chinese embassy issued a statement last week deeming these matchmaking centres illegal.  "We remind both Chinese and Pakistani citizens to remain vigilant and not to be cheated. … We hope that the public does not believe in misleading information and works together to safeguard China-Pakistan friendship," read their statement.

Also watch: Anti-trafficking bill: Forced to be a bar girl at 15, trafficking survivor wants vengeance

They also said the two countries are cooperating and relying on law enforcement agencies to crack down on illegal centres.

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