Indian woman, who was forced to marry in Pakistan, returns

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Uzma Ahmad, who sought refuge at Indian High Commission in Pakistan capital Islamabad on May 5, came back via Wagah border

New Delhi: A day after the Islamabad High Court (HC) allowed her deportation, an Indian woman who said she was forced by a Pakistani man to marry him at gunpoint returned to India on Thursday.

Uzma Ahmad, who sought refuge at the Indian High Commission in Pakistan capital Islamabad on May 5, came back via the Wagah Border. 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 her native place Delhi by Friday.

Welcoming Uzma, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, tweeted, “welcome home India’s daughter. I am sorry for all that you have gone through.”

Uzma’s brother Wasim Ahmad was jubilant at her return to India.

“On Wednesday, Islamabad High Court allowed my sister Uzma to return home and ordered the Pakistan police to escort her to the Wagah Border. I am very happy to hear that Uzma is back, but don’t know when she will be back in Delhi, since her flight is delayed,” Uzma’s brother Wasim Ahmad told media.

He thanked the Indian government in securing Uzma’s release from her husband’s captivity.

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“Sushma Swarajji always kept us updated on Uzma, made me speak to her once, Indian government thoroughly helped us, want to thank the External Affairs Ministry,” Ahmad added.

Uzma, 25, went to a remote district in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on May one. She alleged in court that she met Tahir Ali in Malaysia who later forced her to marry him in Pakistan on May 3.

On May 5, she went to Islamabad and took refuge in the Indian High Commission, alleging she was forced to marry him at gunpoint. In her petition in the court dated May 12, Uzma sought to be allowed to return home urgently as her daughter from her first marriage in India suffered from Thalassemia.

She alleged in her petition that she was “terribly beaten, tortured physically and mentally and forced to sign the nikahnama (marriage deed) by Tahir Ali.”

“I was threatened to kill, harassed and badly humiliated. I was made to sign the Nikaah document with a gun to my head. It was the worst thing that happened to me,” Uzma had told the court in her six-page reply last week.

“Before I signed the marriage document, I was mercilessly beaten, sedated through sleeping pills and sexually assaulted at the Wagah Border. When I regained consciousness, I was in Buner, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” Uzma’s lawyer told the court.

During the course of the hearing, First Secretary at the Indian High Commission Piyush Singh was present at Islamabad HC.

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