'Pakistan Maut Ka Kuan, Even Men Not Safe': India's Uzma After Return

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj acknowledged the role played by Pakistan's foreign and home ministries in Uzma's homecoming.

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Uzma and Union Minister Sushma Swaraj addressed a press conference in New Delhi.

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Uzma Ahmed says she was forced to marry a Pakistani man at gunpoint
  2. Returned to India after intervention by foreign ministry
  3. Says Pakistan like a death trap, thanks Sushma Swaraj for her rescue
A young woman who said she was forced to marry a Pakistani man at gunpoint broke down as she met her little daughter in Delhi for the first time in weeks. Sushma Swaraj, caught up in the swirl of emotions, said, "It means everything to us that for a woman trapped in a foreign land, the Indian High Commission is a ray of hope."

Despite the bitterness in ties, the Foreign Minister also acknowledged the role played by Pakistan's foreign and home ministries and its courts in Uzma's return.

"We told her, even if we have to keep you in the Indian High Commission for one year or two years or three years, we will get you out of there," said Ms Swaraj.

At the foreign ministry office, there were tears and smiles as Uzma took her four-year-old daughter Falaq - who has thalassemia - into her arms and held her tight. The clacking of cameras filled the silence as her brother Wasim Ahmed joined in the group hug. The woman Uzma calls her mother (she is adopted) grabbed the minister into one as well.

Uzma had travelled to Pakistan earlier this month on vacation. She says Tahir Ali, a taxi driver she reportedly met in Malaysia and fell in love with, forced her into marrying him in Pakistan on May 3.

Two days later, she went with him to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad on the pretext of getting Indian visas for a visit, and never left. She begged for help to return to India.

"She told the high commission, if you decide to send me back, give me poison because I'd rather die than go back to that man," Ms Swaraj said, sharing that she spoke to the young woman almost everyday.

Uzma also appealed to a court in Pakistan on May 12, alleging that Tahir Ali had married her at gunpoint, beaten and tortured her and taken away her travel papers.

After the court allowed her deportation, Uzma was escorted this morning by Pakistani security personnel till the Wagah border. "Welcome home, India's daughter. I am sorry for all that you have gone through," Ms Swaraj tweeted.

Profusely thanking Ms Swaraj at the press meet, Uzma said: "Pakistan is a death trap. Why women, not even men are safe there..."

The minister said, "I know our ties are not good, but I want to thank the Pakistan foreign ministry, the home ministry...If Uzma is with us today, they have a role too. I also want to thank the lawyer who fought the case for us and the judge, who questioned - how is the case about India-Pakistan?"
 

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