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‘Pakistan is a well of death’, says Uzma Ahmed who was allegedly forced into marrying against her choice

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A Hindu Temple in Pakistan, (representational Image), Wikimedia

New Delhi, May 25, 2017: “Pakistan is like a well of death”, said Uzma Ahmed, the Indian woman repatriated to the country from Pakistan where she was allegedly forced and duped into marrying against her choice.

“I am an orphan. I am an adopted child and have nobody,” Uzma told reporters in New Delhi, hours after she crossed into India through the Wagah border, a day after the Islamabad High Court permitted her to travel home.

The woman broke down several times and said “it is easy to go, but tough to return”, sharing her ordeal of living in Pakistan with media.

“They could have sold me or used me in a risky operation,” she said about a family in Buner, Pakistan.

Uzma said she was not the only woman duped into marrying a man from Buner.

“There may be lots of girls in Buner. Buner people are mostly in Malaysia and they get girls from Malaysia. It is a dangerous area. You hear gunshots everyday. Every (man) has two wives there. I don’t want this to happen with everyone,” she claimed.

The woman said she saw women who went to Pakistan after their arranged marriages also crying.

She thanked the Government of India, particularly External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for making her return possible and making her realise “the value of my life as an Indian citizen”.

“I am proud to be an Indian citizen. Sushma madam would call me every day to say we are fighting for you, you are our daughter, you are India’s daughter,” she said, recounting the days she spent at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

Uzma travelled to Lahore from Islamabad and was accompanied by Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh. She stayed in Pakistan for 25 days. Near the Wagah border she was escorted by Pakistani security personnel. She prostrated and kissed the ground as soon as she entered Indian territory.

The woman claimed she was forced at gunpoint to marry Buner resident Tahir Ali. 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.

1 COMMENT

  1. For your kind information, Buner is a peaceful Pashtoon area who are known for their hospitality, bravery and has a dignified name in history! If Uzma wasn’t happy with her decision going there she could have easily let her host know and they would have happily seen her off to the same Waga border she eventually crossed. There is no need for lying beyond limits. Seems like India is using her to spell as many lies as possible to look Pakistan bad. I’m sure people of India can question one simple fact that if Uzma’s host were such bad people how was she even able to make it to the Indian embassy. I’m from Buner and there is absolutely no truth to how Buner is portrayed here!

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Zeenat Shahzadi, Missing Pakistani Woman Journalist Fighting For Jailed Indian, Found After Two Years

A Pakistani woman journalist who was allegedly kidnapped while pursuing the case of an Indian engineer two years ago has been rescued

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Zeenat Shahzadi
Zeenat Shahzadi had allegedly been kidnapped in Pakistan's Lahore city in 2015. Twitter.

Lahore October 21:  It was reported by PTI that A Pakistani journalist, Zeenat Shahzadi had “forcibly disappeared” while working on the case of Indian citizen Hamid Ansari.

  • A Pakistani journalist, Zeenat Shahzadi who was allegedly kidnapped two years ago has been rescued.
  • Zeenat Shahzadi, a 26-year-old reporter of Daily Nai Khaber and Metro News TV channel, was kidnapped by unidentified men while she was reaching her home in Lahore on August 19, 2015.
  • She was pursuing the case of an Indian engineer jailed in Peshawar on espionage charges.

The chief of Pakistan’s Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (CIED) Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal said that Shahzadi was retrieved nearby the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on Thursday night. He also mentioned the key roles of tribals from Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces in her recovery.

Zeenat Shahzadi
Rescue of Pakistani Journalist is celebrated in Pakistan. Twitter.

Ansari, a resident of Mumbai had been arrested for illegally invading Pakistan from Afghanistan to meet a girl he had befriended online in 2012. He was convicted to three years imprisonment on charges of spying and entering Pakistan illegally.

On Shahzadi being kidnapped, her brother Saddam Hussain committed suicide in March last year, making the situation an importance by the media.

Human rights activists, including former Secretary General of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, IA Rehman, have raised their voice to set Ansari free since he has completed to serve his sentence.

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Pakistan Elected to UN Human Rights Council along with 14 other countries

The new members will serve a three-year term from January 1, 2018

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un human rights council
UN General Assembly elect 15 new members of Human Rights Council. Wikimedia

United Nations, October 17, 2017 : Fifteen countries, including Pakistan, have been elected to the UN Human Rights Council by the UN General Assembly.

In a vote on Monday, Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Chile, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine were elected, a Foreign Office statement said.

They will serve a three-year term from January 1, 2018. (IANS)

 

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Pakistan Electoral Body Bars Political Party Due to Terror Ties

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Sheikh Yaqub
Sheikh Yaqub (C) candidate of the newly-formed Milli Muslim League party, waves to his supporters at an election rally in Lahore, Pakistan. voa

Pakistan’s Election Commission (ECP) on Wednesday rejected the registration application of a newly established political party with alleged ties to a banned militant group in the country.

Milli Muslim League (MML) has been disqualified to participate in the country’s state and general elections.

The electoral commission’s decision is said to be based on a request made earlier by the country’s Ministry of Interior Affairs, stating that Milli Muslim League is a front organization for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a U.S.-designated terror sponsoring organization in Pakistan.

“The government is vigilant and under no circumstances will allow any political party with a proven record of promoting violence and terrorism to spread their extremist ideology through democracy and political means,” Tallal Chaudhry, Pakistan’s minister of state for Interior Affairs, told VOA.

Saif Ullah Khalid, president of Milli Muslim League, dismissed the election commission’s decision and said the party will take the matter to the country’s judiciary.

Political wing

Milli Muslim League was established in August 2017 as a political wing for the controversial Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which is believed to be a front organization for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group led by Hafiz Saeed.

Saeed was accused of masterminding Mumbai’s 2008 terror attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

The U.S. government has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest. Saeed has been reportedly under house arrest in the eastern city of Lahore for the past eight months.

In September, during an important by-election in Lahore, when the National Assembly’s seat fell vacant following the disqualification of then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the newly launched MML backed an independent candidate who finished fourth in the race for Sharif’s seat.

At the time, Pakistan’s upper house of parliament strongly criticized the country’s election commission for allowing JuD’s political wing, MML, to participate in the Lahore by-election.

Some experts were concerned about the emergence of militant groups joining mainstream politics in Pakistan. They maintain that the political trend seen in Lahore’s by-election, where parties linked to militant groups are able to mobilize and generate sufficient numbers of votes within a very short period of time, as alarming.

“There should be a debate on this sensitive issue through social, political and media channels. By allowing militant-based political parties to integrate into mainstream politics, it will only escalate radicalization in the society,” Khadim Hussain, a Peshawar based political analyst, told VOA.

“There are people who believe with the merger of such militant groups into politics, we’ll provide them an avenue to maintain a political presence without leaving their extreme ideologies,” Hussain added.

Army’s support

Earlier last week, Pakistan’s army acknowledged they are mulling over plans to blend the militant-linked political groups into the mainstream political arena.

Some analysts side with MML, arguing the party should be allowed to participate in elections.

“I do not understand in what capacity the election commission has rejected MML’s application to register as a party,” said Ahmad Bilal Mehboob, the head of Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT).

“Did they (MML) break any law? If not, how can you bar MML from entering the mainstream politics when they’re doing it through legitimate ways,” Mehboob emphasized.

Zubair Iqbal, a Washington-based South Asia expert, also raised concerns over the validity of the decision.

“This is how democracy works. … There are some extreme groups, some moderate groups and no one should be stopped because of their extreme ideologies,” Iqbal told VOA. “The extremist groups can be barred from entering into the politics only through people and democracy.”

“Unless these parties and individuals are allowed to participate in the political system they might never change their extreme ideologies and might continue operating underground which will prove to be more dangerous,” Iqbal added.

International pressure

In the past few years, Pakistan has faced escalating pressure from the international community for not being able to crackdown on militant groups enjoying safe havens in Pakistan and launching attacks in neighboring countries.

In his recent speech on the region, U.S President Trump put Pakistan on notice to take actions against safe havens in Pakistan. Pakistani officials deny the existence of safe havens on its soil.

Pakistan is also accused of being selective in its pursuit of terror groups. It allegedly goes after only those groups that pose a threat to the country’s national security, ignoring others that threat India and Afghanistan.

Pakistan rejects the allegations and reiterates its stance of having no sympathy for any terror group operating in the country.(VOA)