Indian woman ‘forced’ to marry Pakistani returns home

Amritsar/Lahore: An Indian woman who alleged she was forced and duped into marrying a Pakistani man was repatriated to her country through the Wagah border on Thursday, a day after the Islamabad High Court permitted her to travel home.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj welcomed Uzma Ahmed to India, minutes after she crossed into India from the Wagah border in Amritsar.

“Uzma – Welcome home India’s daughter. I am sorry for all that you have gone through,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

Uzma travelled to Lahore from Islamabad and was accompanied by Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh, who bid her farewell at the border. She had stayed in Pakistan for 25 days.

Uzma, who was escorted by Pakistani security personnel till the Wagah border crossing, was debriefed by Indian officials for a while.

The woman claimed she was forced to marry Buner resident Tahir Ali at gunpoint. During the court hearing, Pakistani judge Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani 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.

The High Court ordered that Uzma can go back to her country and the case will be processed in her absence.

Uzma had taken refuge at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad because she felt threatened, and wanted to return to her country of birth.

Ali had filed a petition claiming that she was being forcibly kept at the Indian High Commission and that the marriage was not under coercion.

Uzma, who belongs to New Delhi, and Ali “fell in love” in Malaysia, after which she travelled to Pakistan on May 1, via the Wagah border.

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