Sushma helps Indian woman in distress in Pakistan

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi/Hyderabad, March 20 (IANS) Following a father's YouTube SOS that his daughter was being mistreated by her in-laws in Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said the Indian High Commission had met the victim and was ensuring her safety and return to India.

Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she received a YouTube message from Mohammad Akbar that his daughter Mohammadia Begum, an Indian national, was married to a person in Pakistan "and was being ill-treated by her in-laws".

"Our mission sent a Note Verbale requesting the safety, security and well-being of Mohammadia Begum," she said.

"Our High Commission officials met Mohammadia Begum and she expressed her desire to return to India."

As the Hyderabad woman's passport had expired last year, Sushma asked the Indian High Commission to renew her Indian passport and facilitate her return to India.

Meanwhile, Mohammedi Begum (the name on her passport) spoke to her mother Hajara Begum over phone and informed that her husband Muhammad Younis beat her up and locked her in a room after Indian High Commission officials met her.

The 44-year-old broke down while narrating the ill-treatment at the hands of her husband and in-laws. The mother advised her to have patience and wait for the help from the High Commission.

Hajara Begum said Younis had been abusing her daughter. "He even tells the children to keep themselves away from her as she is a Hindustani and all Hindustanis are Hindus."

Younis has even threatened that he will not allow her go back to India alive. He reportedly married another woman, a Pakistani.

Hajara Begum said her daughter had turned very weak due to physical and mental torture and needs immediate medical help.

Mohammedi Begum and Younis have five children -- three sons and two daughters. The youngest son is nine-year-old and he was born in Pakistan while the other children were born in Muscat, Oman.

"If the children come with her that will be good but my appeal is that she should be brought home immediately," said Hajara Begum.

It was on March 16 that Sushma had sought a report from India High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale.

Mohammedi Begum's father Mohammed Akbar, a cycle mechanic, had earlier sent an e-mail to Sushma Swaraj in January seeking her help in bringing back his daughter.

He alleged that Muhammad Younis, who concealed his actual nationality and claimed to be from Oman, married her in 1996.

The 'nikah' was performed over telephone through some agent and Begum joined Younis, a mechanic, in Muscat. After 12 years of marriage, Begum got a shock when Younis, who had lost his job, disclosed that he was a Pakistani.

Mohammedi Begum had visited Hyderabad in 2012. Her father said this was her only visit to India in 21 years.

--IANS

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