Thursday, May 25, 2017

Uzma calls Pak "Maut ka Kua"; Sushma thanks Islamabad to help her return

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” says Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a troubled dropout struggling with questions of responsibility. 

That's life, that's politics and that's diplomacy.

Indian woman Uzma, who was forced by a Pakistani man to marry him and was granted immigration right by Pakistani court, on her return to India today said she is keen to meet"Mr Narendra Modi". Talking to reporters in New Delhi at an event organsied by the Ministry of External Affairs, she repeatedly thanked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Deputy High Commissioner in Indian High Commission J P Singh for their help and support, she said, "I will request Sushma madam that I am also interested to meet Mr Narendra Modi". 
Uzma's three-year old daughter, her brother and other relatives also posed for snaps before the media.

Ms Uzma described Pakistan as a "Maut ka Kua (well of death)" even as External Affairs Minister Swaraj lauded the role of the Pakistan foreign and home ministries for their "cooperation" in helping her return home.
"It is definitely much easier traveling to Pakistan, but much difficult to come back. Pakistan is like a well of death," Uzma told reporters.

Indo-Pak relations are passing through a tense phase and Uzma's "return home" is seen in many quarters as a significant development especially in the context of firing along the borders and also over former naval official Kulbushan Jadhav episode.  

Ms Uzma said, Ms Swaraj almost kept a daily if not hourly tap on her conditions after she was allowed entry into the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. "Even five minutes prior to my hearing, Sushma madam called me and said entire country is with me...This gave a confidence....I grew up as an orphan and never thought my life was so important," she said.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Swaraj extended thanks to the ministries of foreign affairs and home in Pakistan and said, "Whatever be the relations between two countries as of now, but there cannot be denying the fact that both these ministries cooperated in ensuring Uzma's return to India." She also thanked advocate Shahnawaz Memon, who represented Uzma's case, and Justice M A Kayani for his order allowing Uzma's return. Ms Swaraj said the advocate Mr Shahnawaz took up Uzma's case and was affectionate "like a father".

She also made special mention of Justice Kayani, who had turned down Uzma's husband Tahir's plea that the case would be a 'prestige issue' for Pakistan. "Justice Kayani said where does Pakistan-India relation come into it....And he presided over the case on humanitarian grounds," External Affairs Minister said.

Earlier in the day, Sushma Swaraj in a tweet welcomed Uzma saying, "Welcome home India's daughter. I am sorry for all that you have gone through". Ms Uzma, who earlier this month had sought refuge at the Indian High Commission in Pakistan capital, had moved high court for her immigration rights, was granted the permission by the court. She came back via Wagah border, escorted by the officials of the Indian High Commission including Deputy High Commissioner in India -- J P Singh.

External Affairs Minister also complimented Singh, who was present on the occasion, for his timely decision in allowing entry to Indian High Commission in Islamabad to Uzma.
"It is officer like J P Singh who has actually implemented our campaign that when in foreign countries to every Indian, the foremost dependable friend is the Indian High Commission the world over," Ms Swaraj said.
Making a brief speech at the press conference, where no questions were entertained, Ms Uzma thanked Indian officials in Pakistan including Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh and Sushma Swaraj for all their support during her days of agony.
She also said while even "men were not safe in Pakistan....not to talk about women", India remains a much safer and nice place.
"Jaisa bhi hae, jo bhi hae....hamara Hindustan bahut achha hae (Whatever it is, our India is a much better to place in)", she said adding this was all the more imperative for women who enjoy much freedom.
"I feel proud of the fact that I am an Indian," she said trying to conceal her tears at times.

Uzma, who is in her early 20s, had travelled to Pakistan. Tahir Ali, a man whom she reportedly met in Malaysia and fell in love had forced her to marry him on May 3.

On May 12, she had appealed to a court in Pakistan, alleging that Tahir Ali had forcibly married her at gunpoint. She also told the court that Tahir Ali had harassed and intimidated her and taken away her travel documents to force her to stay.
Uzma told the court that she was physically and mentally tortured and Tahir Ali forced her to sign the Nikahnama. The Islamabad High Court gave its ruling in Uzma's favour and allowed her to return to India.
The court also returned her the immigration papers which she had said was taken away by Ali, who had submitted the documents after being told by the court to do so.

In his remarks, Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh said the Uzma episode would provide an ideal
"case study" and the same was also like a learning experience for officials in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
"When she came at the High Commission window looking fearful, either to allow Uzma entry into the High Commission premises was most difficult decision to make," he said, however adding, "It was also one of the easy decisions as she said I am an Indian".
At the later stage, he said the assuring words from the External Affairs Ms Swaraj said that, "whatever necessary should be done...if necessary Uzma should be kept in the High Commission even for two years and that she should not be handed over to Tahir (Uzma's Pakistani husband) yet again".
Ms Uzma said she was probably given a "sleeping pill" by Tahir and then taken to Buner region in Pakistan, which was once Taliban dominated.


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