The family of an Indian woman who claimed she was forced by a Pakistani man to marry him at gunpoint on Thursday said she never thought she would be back home “this soon”.
The woman, identified as Uzma Ahmad, reached India on Thursday 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. He added that the family had to do little for her return. “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,” Ahmad said, expressing the family’s gratitude to the Indian government.
Uzma, who is in her early 20s and belongs to New Delhi, is believed to have met and fallen in love with Tahir Ali in Malaysia. She told the Islamabad High Court that Ali forced her into marrying him in Pakistan on May 3, when she was visiting that country.
She petitioned the court on May 12, requesting it to allow her to return home urgently as her daughter from her first marriage in India suffered from thalassaemia – a blood disorder characterised by abnormal haemoglobin production. The court ordered Ali to return her immigration papers which she said had been taken away from her. Ali submitted the documents, enabling her to leave Pakistan.
Ahmad said it was not clear what had happened to Uzma during her Pakistan visit. “We don’t know what exactly happened with her there. We will get to know the truth from her when she is back here. So far we have only been hearing from the media,” he said.
Minister Swaraj welcomed Uzma back home, calling her “India’s daughter”. “I am sorry for all that you have gone through,” she tweeted.