On Jan. 4 in Lahore, Pakistani police found the remains of two Christian women. The culprits are their Muslim supervisors, a report says, and the motive for killing is because the women refused to embrace the religion Islam.
The victims were sisters Sajida Mushtaq and Abida Qaiser, reports Morning Star News. They had been reported missing since Nov. 26.
They were found dumped in a drainage ditch, bound inside a sack.
In his interview with the police, Mushtaq Masih, Sajida's husband, said that his wife complained that she was being inconvenienced at work because of her Muslim supervisors.
"My wife often complained of harassment by her supervisors, but she used to tell me that she was handling the situation well," Masih said.
"After she went missing, one of my relatives shared with us that Sajida had confided in her that her supervisors, Muhammad Mumtaz and Naeem Butt, used to pressure her and Abida to convert to Islam and marry them," Masih told Morning News.
When the sisters did not return home from work, Masih immediately went to the police.
The police then questioned the two supervisors, Mumtaz and Butt, mentioned by Masih's wife prior to her death. They were also told that Mumtaz would always harass the two women, pressing them to marry him. The investigation for the case was led by Officer Iftikhar Hussain.
After the interrogation, Muhammad Mumtaz and Naeem Butt eventually confessed their crimes.
"During interrogation, Naeem confessed that they had abducted the sisters, and after keeping them hostage for a few days for satisfying their lust, had slit their throats and thrown their bodies into the drain," Hussain told Morning Star News.
When Masih was asked to identify the bodies, he said that he could not bear the sight of his wife's decomposed body.
"You can imagine the emotional and mental trauma our children and all other family members have been suffering since Sajida and Abida had gone missing. When police informed us that they had identified the two bodies as those of our loved ones, it seemed that our entire world had come crumbling down," Masih added.
Sajida left behind three sons and a daughter with the eldest at 11 years old and the youngest at age 5. Her sister Abida left a nine-year-old daughter.
Ejaz Alam Augustine, Punjab Province Minister for Minorities and Human Rights attended the sisters' funeral to comfort the bereaved family.
"No words are enough to condemn the barbarity meted out to the two innocent women," he said.
The minister added that with the rise of the number of Christian women and girls in Punjab being coerced to convert, officials are legislating laws that will punish perpetrators.
"We have sent a draft bill to the provincial law ministry for vetting. It will be introduced in the Punjab Assembly after evolving consensus of all political parties," assured the Punjab Province Minister for Minorities and Human Rights.
According to Open Doors' 2020 World Watch List, Pakistan ranks fifth of all countries where Christians get severely persecuted.