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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
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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.

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  • Khalid Bunery

    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!

  • Khalid Bunery

    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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American Friends of Balochistan welcomes Trump’s Tough stand on Pak

The American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) issued a statement Monday welcoming Donald Trump's stand on US-Pakistan relations, calling it a vindication of its own stand.

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Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons
Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons

Washington, D.C.– The American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) Executive Committee issued a statement Monday welcoming the President’s stand on US-Pakistan relations, calling it a vindication of its own stand.

The AFB said President Donald J. Trump has called out Pakistan’s constant bluffs with the US and pointed out a big chunk of American assistance was used against people of Balochistan in a secret, dirty war instead of the Taliban.

Khwaja Wali Kirani in Balochistan. Wikimedia Commons

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” President Trump first tweet of 2018 reads.

The tweet was loved by nearly quarter-million Americans and retweeted 83,000 times in less than 24 hours.

The AFB executive committee said the US remains Pakistan’s top foreign aid donor, in addition to the money paid in expectation of cooperation in the Global War on Terror. Yet, for many years now, serving officers in the US Armed Forces have repeatedly spoken out about Pakistan’s perfidy in Afghanistan, which has cost the US lives, money and strategic credibility in the world’s eyes. Pakistan also remains a training ground for terrorism and a prime proliferator of nuclear weapons technology.

No country’s development and democracy have suffered more from Pakistan’s interference via state-sponsored terrorism than Afghanistan. US efforts to help the Afghans rebuild their nation are constantly sabotaged by reeling instability. India is another well-known target.

The AFB said Balochistan is a region rich in natural gas. It that has seen several bloody cycles of insurgency ever since Pakistan forcibly annexed the autonomous Baloch state of Kalat in 1948 in violation of a Standstill Agreement. A portion of historical Balochistan also sits on the other side of Pakistan’s border with Iran. Further, it borders Afghanistan to the north-west. Pakistan’s brutal record in this strategically located province that forms the northern lip of the key Straits of Hormuz has spiked in recent years.

“People of Balochistan tried their very best to work with Pakistan’s false promises of integration after forceful accession, but instead gave genocide to Balochs,” said the statement.

The AFB monitors the situation in Balochistan closely and is in touch with freedom and democracy activists on the ground. The AFB reiterated their call to the Pakistani government to cease violating the physical security of Baloch people, their freedom of expression, and end the policy of economic exploitation and genocidal violence.

A slow-motion genocide in Balochistan has claimed the lives of 35,000 Baloch people, 6,000 of whom were buried in mass graves while 21,000 are Victims of Enforced Disappearances, according to the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons. “The enforced disappearances situation in Balochistan is no different than what it used to be in Chile and Argentine in the 1970s and 1980s,” the AFB executive committee noted.

The AFB executive committee chimed in with similar sentiments expressed by policy experts in academe, veteran politicians, diplomats, intelligence chiefs, and human rights activists. Among them were former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, leading South Asia expert and former Pakistani ambassador Hussain Haqqani, several Baloch freedom and human rights activists cutting across party lines, former head of Afghanistan’s Directorate of Security Amrullah Saleh, and even normally fierce critics of President Trump’s administration such as Prof. Christine Fair, Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

The AFB executive committee consists of Jane Eastwood Weisner, Najeeb Khan, Krishna Gudipati, Soumya Chowdhury and Habiba Ashna. The organization was founded by veteran Baloch journalist Ahmar Mustikhan, who is the president.

Hope and doubt have been expressed on whether the US president’s tweet and words will translate into actionable legislation. Mustikhan published a survey of some of these thoughts in an article titled “Wave of joy sweeps across Afghanistan, Balochistan & India over Trump’s first tweet of 2018”.