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Sushma thanks Pakistan for Uzma’s return

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with Uzma, who was brought back from Pakistan.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with Uzma, who was brought back from Pakistan.  

External Affairs Minister praises Foreign and Home ministries apart from judiciary for aiding victim’s return

In a rare instance of mutual understanding, India on Thursday thanked Pakistan’s diplomats and judiciary after an Indian national returned home. Welcoming the woman from Delhi, Uzma, who had accused a Pakistani man of marrying her forcefully, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India would like to thank Pakistan irrespective of the current status of bilateral political relation.

“Today I would like to express our appreciation of Pakistan irrespective of the current state of bilateral ties. If Uzma is here today, that is because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan has helped us a lot. Pakistan’s Home Ministry has also helped us a lot,” said Ms Swaraj, emphasising that the Indian High Commission received humanitarian support from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Minister, who tracked the case since Ms. Uzma came to the Indian mission in Islamabad in early May and sought help, said the diplomats of the mission acted swiftly in assisting her.

Ms. Uzma had alleged that her husband Tahir Ali, from the Buner region in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, had assaulted her.

Relationship turns sour

The Hindu had earlier reported that Ms. Uzma had told officials at the Indian High Commission that she had crossed into Pakistan on May 1 and was drugged by her friend Tahir Ali who then married her forcibly and assaulted her.

The two had become friends while working in Malaysia. Ms Uzma somehow managed to reach the Indian mission on 9 May and complained that she had been forced into marrying Tahir and wanted to return to India. Subsequently, assisted by the Pakistani officials, the Indian High Commission fought the case against the accused husband.

Ms Uzma returned to Delhi via the Wagah border on Thursday after the Islamabad High Court issued a favourable verdict allowing her to return.

 

Pak. judicial support

Acknowledging the Pakistani judicial support, Ms Swaraj said, “Political relations are another thing but Justice (Mohsin Akhtar ) Kayani gave the verdict on humanitarian grounds. Her husband argued that the case was about the prestige of Pakistan but (Justice Kayani) said how is this case related to prestige of India or Pakistan? Barrister Shah Nawaz Noon argued the case almost like a father.”

During the hearing, Mr. Ali, had reportedly expressed his desire to meet Ms Uzma in private for reconciliation, but Justice Kayani did not allow it as Ms Uzma was unwilling.

The Minister also singled out the role of the Indian High Commission and Deputy High Commissioner J. P. Singh, for special praise. “It is a good thing that you approached the Indian High Commission in your moment of crisis,” Ms Swaraj told Ms Uzma.

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 11:20:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indian-woman-uzma-forced-to-marry-a-pakistani-at-gunpoint-returns-home/article18575923.ece

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