Cross-border love: Indian girl returns from Pakistan with harrowing tales

July 12th, 2008 - 11:50 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Amritsar, July 12 (IANS) A young Indian woman, who met the man of her dreams from Pakistan online five years ago, married him and lived there, has come back to India with harrowing tales of torture after her husband died recently. Mumbai-based Asha Patil, arrived here Saturday on the Nankana Sahib-Amritsar peace bus after allegedly being harassed by her in-laws in Karachi.

Patil, whose husband Khaled Mumtaz died May this year of cardiac arrest during a wedding ceremony, had married him last year after a five-year Internet courtship.

The couple arranged for a meeting in 2006 at the Attari-Wagah border checkpost between both countries at the Retreat ceremony held there every evening.

“I have sweet memories of my husband. There was no problem till he was alive. I am now pregnant and want to deliver the child in Pakistan. My in-laws let all hell break loose on me after Khaled died. They harassed and humiliated me till a court order prevented them from doing so,” Patil, clad in traditional white salwar-kameez with her head covered, said on arriving here.

Patil had to seek refuge with a religious leader at Chishti near Lahore following harassment by her in-laws. She managed to get a 10-day visa to India after facing several problems, including what she termed apathy of the Indian embassy in Islamabad.

The hapless woman said she sent letters to President Pratibha Patil and others in India and Islamabad but got no response.

“I have returned to seek help from everyone in India. I want to return to Pakistan to give birth to the child and give my husband’s name to the child. I am broken after his death,” Patil, who is two months pregnant, said.

Patil said she was beaten, robbed of all her belongings and even thrown out of the house by her in-laws.

“They even threatened to kill me,” she said.

Patil also attributed her plight to the laws in Pakistan which do not give much importance to women. Her life was made worse by her brother-in-law who is in the Karachi police.

But the determined woman said that she did not want to blame her Internet chatting for her woes. “Even arranged marriages can run into trouble,” she pointed out.

Patil took a flight to Mumbai Saturday to reach her family there. Patil said she was expecting help from Indian authorities so that she can live safely in Pakistan and deliver her child.

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