Family Thanks Government After Woman Who Was Forced To Marry Pak Man Returns

Uzma, who is in her early 20s, had travelled to Pakistan earlier this month on vacation, her family said. Tahir Ali, whom she reportedly met in Malaysia and fell in love with, forced her into marrying him in Pakistan on May 3.

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Family Thanks Government After Woman Who Was Forced To Marry Pak Man Returns

Uzma Ahmad, who had travelled to Pakistan on vacation, was forced to marry at gunpoint

New Delhi:  The family of an Indian woman who claimed she was forced by a Pakistani man to marry him at gunpoint today said that they thought she would never be able to return "this soon". The woman, identified as Uzma Ahmad, reached India this morning, crossing the Wagah Border near Amritsar from Pakistan, after being allowed to return home by the Islamabad High Court.

She was accompanied by Indian Mission officials. "We did not expect that she would back this soon," Uzma's brother Wasim Ahmad, happy at the quick turn of events, told reporters in New Delhi.

Expressing the family's gratitude to the Indian government, Mr Ahmad said, "We did not have to do any running around. We got a call from (External Affairs Minister) Sushma Swaraj that Uzma had contacted the Indian Mission in Islamabad and her return to the country was being facilitated."

Uzma, who is in her early 20s, had travelled to Pakistan earlier this month on vacation, her family said. Tahir Ali, whom she reportedly met in Malaysia and fell in love with, forced her into marrying him in Pakistan on May 3.

She had 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.

Requesting the court  to allow her to return to India urgently, Uzma said that she had been "terribly beaten... tortured physically and mentally and forced to sign the nikahnama" by Ali.
Her husband Ali rejected the allegations and said, "she is still my wife. Neither she has asked for divorce nor I have divorced her."

Islamabad High Court on Wednesday ruled in her favour and allowed her to return to India. The court also returned her the immigration papers which she said was 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.

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Acknowledging the government's efforts, Uzma's brother Wasim Ahmed said, "Want to thank government, they thoroughly helped us. Sushma Swaraj ji always kept us updated, made me speak to her (Uzma) once."

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

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