2 February 2023
By Rehan Piracha
Pakistan awaiting Indian response to a consular access request for Pakistani girl Iqra Jeewani who was arrested in India last month, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch told Voicepk.net on Thursday.
“The High Commission for Pakistan, New Delhi, has approached the Indian authorities to seek confirmation of the media reports regarding the individual in question. The Mission has also sought information about her whereabouts and requested for grant of consular access. The response from the Indian side is awaited,” Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said in a written response to a question about what measures have been taken for the girl’s early repatriation to Pakistan.
Speaking to Voicepk.net from Hyderabad city, Sohail Jeewani, father of the girl, appealed to both governments of India and Pakistan to expedite the deportation process for reuniting his daughter with her family in Pakistan.
Iqra was lured to Nepal by Yadav impersonating as a Indian Muslim: family
According to Sohail Jeewani, his daughter was lured to travel secretly to Dubai and Kathmandu by Yadav who posed as an Indian Muslim with the name of Sameer Ansari. He claimed that Yadav had bought air tickets for Iqra from a travel agency located in Bengaluru city.
“Iqra went missing on September 19, 2022, when she did not return from her college, FG College in Hyderabad,” Sohail Jeewani said. He registered a kidnapping first information report (FIR) at the City police station on the same day, nominating unknown suspects under section 365-B of the Pakistan Penal Code about kidnapping, abducting, or inducing a woman for a forceful marriage.
Around 12 days after her disappearance, the family received a call from Iqra saying she had married an Indian named Sameer Ansari who worked as a manager in an information technology firm. However, the family received no calls from her after that and came to know of Iqra’s arrest through media reports. Sohail Jeewani said he also approached the Federal Investigation Agency to help track her travel history and current whereabouts. He expressed unawareness about how Iqra was able to secure a United Arab Emirates visa for travelling to Dubai. For SAARC countries, Nepal has a policy for giving a visa on arrival at Kathmandu airport.
Sohail Jeewani said he has submitted applications to the federal foreign and interior ministries seeking their assistance for his teenage daughter’s return to Pakistan. “She is my only daughter and we are worried about her fate in India,” he added.
If the detained national is arrested in connection with an Indian court case, he/she might remain detained during the trial and serve any imprisonment given in the case. Once the Pakistani national has completed the sentence, the Pakistani High Commission will write to the Indian authorities for the repatriation of their citizen to Pakistan.
No counsel provided to Iqra Jeewani: sources
According to Bengaluru police, Iqra Jeewani is incarcerated in Bengaluru Central Jail in judicial custody. She has been charged under offences of Section 7(2) of the Foreigners Act and sections 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code. The charges carry a sentence between two to seven years. Police sources said Iqra Jeewani had not been provided a lawyer yet in the case.
India is yet to repatriate 128 prisoners who have served sentences
According to a list of prisoners exchanged between the two countries on January 1st, there were 434 Pakistani prisoners in India, including 339 civilian prisoners and 95 fishermen. Similarly, 705 Indian prisoners are detained in Pakistan, including 51 civilian prisoners and 654 fishermen.