Pakistan is a ‘well of death’, says Uzma after returning to India

 

Describing Uzma Ahmad as “India’s daughter”, Swaraj welcomed her to India.

“I am sorry for all that you have gone through,” she tweeted.

On her return, Uzma, speaking to the media, said, “Pakistan is like a well of death.”

“They could have sold me or used me in a risky operation,” she said about a family in Buner, Pakistan.

Uzma said she was not the only woman duped into marry a man from Buner.
“There may be lot of girls in Buner. Buner people are mostly in Malaysia and they get girls from Malaysia. It is a dangerous area. You hear gunshots everyday. Every (man) has two wives there. I don’t want this to happen with everyone,” she claimed.

“I am proud to be an Indian citizen. Sushma madam would call me every day to say we are fighting for you, you are our daughter, you are India’s daughter,” she said, recounting the days she spent at the Indian high commission in Islamabad.

She thanked the government of India, particularly External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for making her return possible and making her realise “the value of my life as an Indian citizen”.

Uzma, who is in her early 20s, hails from New Delhi. She was allowed by the Islamabad high court on Wednesday to return to India following a plea she filed with the court requesting its directive after her husband Tahir Ali took her immigration
papers.

Accompanied by Indian mission officials and escorted by Pakistani police personnel, she crossed into India through the Wagah Border crossing near Amritsar.

She touched the ground after she entered the Indian territory.

Uzma had petitioned the court on May 12 requesting it to allow her to return home urgently as her daughter from her first marriage in India suffered from thalassemia – a blood disorder characterised by abnormal haemoglobin production.

Tahir had petitioned the court, requesting that he be allowed to meet “his wife”. A single bench of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard both the pleas and after hearing their arguments, he allowed Uzma to return to India.

She has said she was forced to marry Tahir at gunpoint. The two reportedly met in Malaysia and fell in love.

Uzma reached Pakistan on May 1 and travelled to the remote Buner district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province where she was married to Tahir on May 3.

Later she came to Islamabad and took refuge in the Indian high commission.

According to the law in Pakistan, her lawyer can continue to represent her in the case she has filed in the high court and she can return to pursue the case.

Swaraj thanks Pak establishment for Uzma’s return

Amid continued tensions with Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj profusely thanked the Pakistani establishment and judiciary for facilitating Indian citizen Uzma Ahmed’s return.

She said though there is tension between the two neighbours, the Pakistan foreign office and the home ministry played a key role in her return.

Swaraj had words of praise for Uzma’s counsel Barrister Shahnawaz and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani of the Islamabad high court.

She said while the counsel treated Uzma as his child, the judge dealt with the case on humanitarian grounds and not through the prism of India-Pakistan relations as some people wanted him to.

“I heaved a sigh of relief as soon as she crossed the Wagah border,” Swaraj told reporters.

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