Italy verifying case of Pakistani girl ‘made to abort pregnancy’

Rome: The Italian government has asked its ambassador to Pakistan to “urgently verify with local authorities” a report that a Pakistani high school student living in Verona was forced to have an abortion in her homeland, the foreign ministry has said.

“The foreign ministry has asked the Italian embassy in Islamabad to urgently verify with local authorities news of the Pakistani student residing in Verona who — after returning to her home country — was reportedly obliged to interrupt her pregnancy by her family,” the statement said.

“If this were the case, it would constitute a very serious incident,” the statement underlined on Thursday.

“Italy staunchly defends the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms on the basis of the principle of gender equality in any circumstance.”

The unnamed Pakistani student, aged 19, was pregnant by her Italian boyfriend and wanted to have the baby – against the wishes of he family.

The girl’s family lured her back to Pakistan to attend her brother’s wedding, where they made her undergo the abortion against her will, according to Italian media reports citing WhatsApp messages allegedly sent by the woman to classmates in Verona.

The students passed the WhatsApp messages to teachers at the girl’s school, who contacted police.

The woman had lived with her family in Verona since 2008 and last year spent time in a women’s shelter after her father was reported to police for domestic violence, media reports said.

She left the shelter in January, claiming she had a reconciliation with her family, and soon afterwards travelled to Pakistan with her mother and her sister, the reports said.

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