Islamabad: More than 3,500 girls were kidnapped and women remained missing across Pakistan's Punjab in the last four years, local media reported citing provincial police statistics.

According to the police records, the status of these girls and women has been declared "not recovered" as no one, including the police and their parents, is aware of the whereabouts of these women kidnapped during the last four years from across Punjab, Dawn newspaper reported.

The report as that at least 40,585 women had been abducted between 2017 and January 2022 from all 36 districts of Punjab.

While data from Punjab police has revealed that out of the 3,571 women still missing most of them had disappeared from Lahore. Of these, 136 women were reported abducted in 2017, 234 in 2018, 344 in 2019, 462 in 2020, while 2021 witnessed an alarming situation, as 2,395 girls and women were kidnapped in the province.

Most of the kidnappings were reported in Lahore with 76 in 2017, 141 in 2018, 235 in 2019, 313 in 2020 and 1,098 in 2021, Dawn reported.

According to the region-wise break-up, the report stated that 267 girls and women had been kidnapped from Sheikhupura region since 2017, 236 from Gujranwala, 374 from Rawalpindi, four from Sargodha, 143 from Faisalabad, 338 from Multan, 151 from Sahiwal, 78 from Dera Ghazi Khan and 117 from Bahawalpur region, the newspaper added.

Abductions and kidnappings of minorities in Pakistan is used as a tool by the state to silence the oppressed. It has been a long stain on Islamabad's human rights record.

Pakistan has been repeatedly slammed by the international community for not taking stringent measures to protect its minority communities, despite the country's Prime Minister Imran Khan vowing to protect them on numerous occasions.