Indian woman forced to marry Pakistani man returns home

The ordeal of an Indian woman who claimed she was forced by a Pakistani man to marry him at gunpoint has temporarily ended. She returned to India through the Wagah border this morning, a day after the Islamabad High Court allowed her deportation.

Indian woman Uzma
Indian woman Uzma who alleged she was forced by a Pakistani man to marry him at gunpoint. Photo courtesy: Twitter

The Indian woman, Uzma, who sought refuge at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, was escorted by officials of the Indian High Commission.

Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj in a tweet welcomed Uzma. "Welcome home, India's daughter. I am sorry for all that you have gone through.”

Uzma was escorted by Pakistani security personnel till the Wagah border crossing where Indian officials debriefed her for a while. She is likely to be brought to Delhi later.

The ordeal of Uzma started earlier this month when she travelled to Pakistan on vacation, her family said.

Tahir Ali, a Pakistani whom she reportedly met in Malaysia and fell in love with, forced her into marriage in Pakistan on May 3.

However, the man started torturing her, Uzma alleged. She appealed to a court in Pakistan on May 12, alleging that Tahir Ali had married her at gunpoint. In the days after their marriage, he had harassed and intimidated her and taken away her travel papers to force her to stay, she told the court.

She petitioned the court to allow her to return India urgently. Uzma said she had been "terribly beaten... tortured physically and mentally and forced to sign the nikahnama" by Ali. Rejecting allegation, Ali said the high court allowed "his wife" to go back.

The Islamabad High Court yesterday ruled in her favour and allowed her to return to India. The court also returned the immigration papers which she had said were taken away by Ali, who had submitted the documents after being told by the court to do so.

During the hearing, the court had asked Uzma if she wanted to meet her husband in the chamber but she refused the offer, saying she did not want to talk to him.

According to the law in Pakistan, her lawyer can continue to represent her and she can come back to pursue the case.

Author
Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.

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