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Monday 27th March 2023 / 5 Ramadhan 1444

Who is Sumaira, the Pakistani woman languishing in India?

Pakistan-origin Sumaira is in a detention centre in Bangalore. Source: FILE.

Pakistan-origin Sumaira is in a detention centre in Bangalore. Source: FILE.

ISLAMABAD: Senator Irfan Siddiqui has once again raised the issue of a Pakistan-origin woman languishing in a Bangalore detention centre in India along with her four-year-old daughter.

Senator Irfan Siddiqui has written a letter addressed to Chairperson of Senate’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Sherry Rehman to hear the matter. He said that Sumaira was awaiting confirmation of her Pakistani citizenship for the last six months but nothing was being done by the authorities.

He said she would be set free by Indian authorities after the confirmation of her papers by the Foreign Office. The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee is scheduled to meet in the Parliament House on Thursday (tomorrow).

PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui had earlier raised the issue on the floor of the house also during the recent Senate session. He said that while expressing sympathy with Muskan, something should also be done for Pakistan’s daughter Sumaira.

He asked Leader of the House in Senate Dr Shahzad Wasim to take up the matter with the government. The Senate chairman issued a ruling that Senator Irfan Siddiqui and the Leader of the House should work out a plan of action in this regard.

The case background

According to reports, Sumaira was living with her Pakistani parents in Qatar. In 2016, she married an Indian Muslim who managed to take her to India without a visa.

In 2017, she was arrested by the Indian police on the charges of entering the country illegally.  She was jailed and awarded a three-year term. Two months later, she also gave birth to a baby girl in detention.

During her years of captivity, Sumaira’s husband stopped visiting her and severed all connections. After completion of her term, she was shifted to a detention centre in Bangalore.

Sumaira’s lawyer Sahana Biswa Patna said she had been trying to contact the Pakistani high commission in New Delhi and the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad to verify Sumaira’s Pakistani citizenship for six months but to no avail.

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