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Pakistan summons Indian envoy over Samjhauta Express disruption

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Islamabad: Pakistan summoned a senior Indian diplomat on Friday to convey concern over cancellation of a cross-border train service, authorities said.

The Delhi-bound Samjhauta Express, carrying both Indian and Pakistani passengers, was called back from the Wagah border on Thursday after Indian authorities informed Pakistani officials of farmers protest on the Indian side of the border.

The Indian farmers were holding a demonstration to demand compensation for destruction of their cotton crop, according to reports.

The train, which carried 193 Pakistani and Indian nationals, will depart for Delhi on Monday, said Pakistan Railways spokerman Rauf Tahir.

“Acting Deputy High Commissioner of India Raghuram was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to express concern over the cancellation of operation of Samjhauta Express,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The cancellation caused inconvenience to more than 200 passengers from Pakistan and India,” a foreign ministry statement quoted Mohammad Faisal, the Director General South Asia, as telling the Indian diplomat.

Pakistani authorities issued special certificates to allow the Indian nationals, whose visas to visit Pakistan were expired, to extend their stay in the country till Monday.

“The Government of Pakistan has taken all necessary steps to accommodate the stranded Indian passengers, who were not permitted to cross the border,” the foreign ministry added.

A deadly bomb attack on the Samjhauta Express in February 2007 on the Indian side of the border killed 68 people, including 42 Pakistanis.

Pakistan has been demanding punishment to those involved in the terrorist attack blamed on extremist Hindus.

 

(IANS)

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Mother Convicted of Forcing Daughter to Marry

A British court has convicted a mother of forcing her daughter to marry a relative almost twice her age in Pakistan, in a first successful prosecution of its type in England.

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A union flag is flown at half mast in Westminster after an attack on London Bridge and Borough Market left 7 people dead and dozens injured in London, Britain, June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

A British court has convicted a mother of forcing her daughter to marry a relative almost twice her age in Pakistan, in a first successful prosecution of its type in England.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday convicted the mother of four of duping her then 17-year-old daughter into travelling to Pakistan on the pretext of a family holiday in 2016 and forcing her to marry there, the BBC reported.

The mother was found guilty of two counts of forced marriage and was scheduled to be sentenced.

The court heard the girl had been entered into a “marriage contract” with the man years before in Pakistan and became pregnant at 13. The victim had an abortion on returning to the UK, with her doctor reporting his concerns to social services.

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Prosecutors said the girl’s mother told them that her daughter and the man were just “two teenagers who had sneakily had sex” after she was referred, the BBC said.

The girl was tricked into travelling to Pakistan again in September 2016 and was forced by her mother to sign marriage papers.

When the daughter protested against the marriage, her mother threatened to burn her passport and assaulted her.

The mother was also convicted of perjury after she lied about the incident in the High Court.

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It is the first time a forced marriage case of this kind has been successfully prosecuted in an English court. Prosecutions for forced marriage, which became an offense in 2014, are rare. (IANS)

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