World Neighbours 17 May 2016 Christian girl, abdu ...

Christian girl, abducted in Pakistan last year, forced to marry Muslim captor

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published May 17, 2016, 2:57 pm IST
Updated May 17, 2016, 2:57 pm IST
When her family reported the incident, the police said that Maryam was not being held against her will, but had married the man who kidnapped her. (Representational image)
 When her family reported the incident, the police said that Maryam was not being held against her will, but had married the man who kidnapped her. (Representational image)

Lahore: A Christian woman, who was abducted in Pakistan last year, was allegedly forced to marry her Muslim captor, according to her family.

Maryam Mushtaq, a 24-year-old student, was kidnapped in Lahore last May when she was walking with her younger brother on her way back from college. She was bundled into a car by two Muslim men in front of her 11-year-old brother.

When her family reported the incident, the police said that Maryam was not being held against her will, but had married the man who kidnapped her.

He mother, Mussarat Mushtaq, had reported the abduction and also gave information about the kidnappers' vehicle and licence plate number to the police. However, two days later, the police informed that her daughter was not kidnapped but married.

A 32-year-old man named Muhammed Ali, who Maryam's family claims is the kidnapper, went to the police station and produced a marriage certificate. However, the family refused to believe that Maryam, a devoted Christian, would voluntarily marry a Muslim, and are certain that she is being held against her will.

“Three years ago my husband died of cancer, two years ago Maryam's sister died. Now kidnappers have taken away my daughter,” said devastated Mussarat Mushtaq.

“She was a good, intelligent, hard working girl; she went back to college to improve her chances for employment so that she could support her family. The kidnappers have destroyed her future," she said, adding that "Jesus has always been the centre of her life, there is no way she would give up her whole life and salvation to marry a Muslim man."

The British Pakistani Christian Association (BCAP), which has been helping the family, said that police are bringing Maryam and Ali to court for a hearing this week. However, as she is still living with her abductor, the BCAP fears that she may be forced to tell the court that her marriage is lawful.

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