Pakistan: Christian woman abducted and forced to marry Muslim kidnapper

A 24-year-old Christian woman has been abducted and forced to marry her kidnapper in Pakistan, according to the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA).

Maryam Mushtaq was abducted on Thursday by two Muslim men.BPCA

Maryam Mushtaq was walking back from college in Lahore at around 13.30 with her younger brother when she was grabbed by two masked Muslim men and abducted on Thursday.

Mushtaq was forced into the back of a white Corrola in front of her brother Romail,11, while they shouted abuse and threats at him.

Her mother, Mussarat, 53, reported the kidnapping to local police.

Two days later, the police told Mussarat that her daughter had not been kidnapped, but rather had married the Muslim man who supposedly abducted her.

Muhammad Ali, 32, had shown the police a certificate of his marriage to Maryam, on which her religion is listed as Islam.

"Maryam like the rest of us attends church every week there is no way she would give up her whole life and salvation to marry a Muslim man. Jesus has always been the centre of her life," Mussarat told BPCA.

'Three years ago my husband died of cancer, two years ago Maryam's sister died. Now kidnappers have taken away my daughter, I am devastated," she said.

'Maryam had a good relationship with her brother Romail and remaining sister Khusboo, 23, they would know if she had been interested in this man. None of them have ever even seen him before."

She had recently returned to study at an adult learning college to become a teacher to help support her family.

There is going to be a hearing today but because of the legal process in Pakistan, even if it goes to trial, it is unlikely that the girl will be released, Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA, told Christian Today. 

"Yet again an innocent Christian girl has been kidnapped and forced into Islamic marriage. We do not know the depravity or the brutality she has had to face but her entrapment will have a sordid edge to it no doubt," Chowdhry said.

"Police have responded relatively quickly, but had to in circumstances of a traumatic daylight abduction that was witnessed by many. The abductors are known and yet the girl still has not been returned to the family and it is feared that corrupt police could collude with the kidnappers if bribed significantly.

"A justice system that does not permit the release of an abductee to her family is indicative of a flawed and failing rule of law. May God grant this poor woman freedom and a chance to fulfil her ambition of becoming a teacher, where she might be able to teach love and hope where so much cruelty exists."