Justice Served: Lifetime Imprisonment for Killer of Pakistani Christian Woman, Sonia Allah Rakha

Farrukh Saif

November 20, 2023

A lifetime imprisonment sentence has been awarded by a court to Muhammad Shehzad, the man responsible for killing Sonia Allah Rakha, a 24-year-old Pakistani Christian woman. The tragic incident occurred in November 2020 on Islamabad Highway as Sonia was on her way to work. In a significant verdict, Judge Azam Khan of the Islamabad Sessions Court imposed a 25-year imprisonment on Muhammad Shehzad. 

During the case hearing, Judge Azam Khan commended the police for their meticulous investigation, leaving no room for doubt. Muhammad Shehzad was identified as the primary perpetrator, leading to his lengthy sentence, while his three suspected accomplices were acquitted.

The family of Sonia expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision, stating that it brought relief. Allah Rakha, Sonia’s father, emphasized that his daughter was not killed for any wrongdoing but for rejecting a marriage proposal from a Muslim man. He revealed that the culprit had been pressuring Sonia to abandon her faith and marry him, but she steadfastly refused. 

Sonia’s Family Stated:

Sonia’s family disclosed that she had informed her mother about Shehzad’s marriage proposal and her subsequent rejection. In an attempt to convince Sonia, Shehzad went to the extent of sending his mother to Sonia’s house with a formal marriage proposal. However, Sonia’s mother politely declined the proposal, citing the religious disparity between the two families as unacceptable for communities and relatives.

 The reported rejection infuriated Shehzad, ultimately leading him to fatally shoot Sonia.

Christian girls in Pakistan:

 Christian girls in Pakistan are often exposed to the harrowing realities of forced marriages. Despite their Christian faith, these young women are coerced into marriage with Muslim men. In these cases, it is evident that individuals like Sonia Allah Rakha face relentless pressure to abandon their beliefs and submit to those seeking to impose their will. Formal marriage proposals, backed by familial influence, are presented as a means of assimilation for Christian girls. These tactics, ranging from emotional manipulation to societal threats, highlight a deeply rooted issue that requires urgent attention and intervention to protect the rights and freedoms of these vulnerable individuals.

Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.

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