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Christian Pakistani woman kidnapped and forced to marry Muslim, says family
A Christian family in Pakistan has said one of their daughters has been kidnapped in broad daylight and forced to marry a Muslim man.
According to the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) Maryam Mushtaq, 24, was abducted on her way home from college with her brother Romail, 11, in Liaquatabad in the eastern city of Lahore last Thursday.
Ms Mushtaq was studying to be a teacher.
BPCA has said two masked men arrived and bundled Maryam into a car and drove off in plain sight of her brother Romail and other passers-by.
Her mother Mussarat Mushtaq (below, top) reported the crime to the local police station, who came back two days later and said Maryam had married a Muslim man called Muhammed Ali (below, bottom).
Muhammed Ali had provided what he claimed to be a marriage certificate to the police (below).
Mussarat challenged this, saying none of the Mushtaq family had ever seen Maryam with Mr Ali and that she would never voluntarily marry a man of another faith.
These reasons, coupled with the witnesses who saw Maryam's kidnap, led police to continue investigations of abduction and forced marriage charges.
Maryam's mother 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.
"The kidnappers have destroyed her future.
"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."
The BPCA are assisting the Mushtaq family with their legal fees as they seek to get Maryam, who has now been found with Mr Ali, returned to the family.
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