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Pakistan: Abducted Sikh girl to decide her fate on her 'free will'  

File photo. Photograph:( WION )

WION Islamabad, Pakistan Aug 31, 2019, 10.44 PM (IST) Written By: Anas Mallick

In a twisted turn of events, Jagjit Kaur's fate is to be decided by none other than herself, authorities told WION. The Sikh girl was allegedly kidnapped in Pakistan in the wee hours of August 28.

Authorities further added that Jagjit's family had also been communicated that she would decide about her future on “her own free will”.

The drama unfolded at Lahore and Nankana Sahib yesterday when, upon the intervention of Pakistan's Punjab government and Federal government, the governor of Punjab Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar met the family of Jagjit Kaur and assured them that their daughter would be safely returned. 

According to sources privy to the matter, Kaur was handed over to her family at 3am by the wife of the Punjab governor, only later to be returned to Dar ul Aman. 

According to officials, Jagjit Kaur “insisted that she does not want to go back to her family”, therefore she was shifted back to Dar ul Aman for the “completion of documents and formalities”. Dar ul Aman is a government hostel where usually court cases are kept under safe and vigilant protection.

Jagjit Kaur’s brother later in a video statement rebutted claims of having being handed over her sister.

Jagjit Kaur will now be living at the Dar ul Aman for at least seven days where after those seven days, a magistrate will ask her about her decision. In these seven days, Kaur’s family and her alleged new husband can also meet her.

According to the FIR filed by Kaur’s family - who is a resident of the Sikh holy city of Nankana Sahib - eight men had barged into their house on August 28 and forcibly took away Jagjit Kaur on gunpoint, adding that there were other witnesses to the event that took place.

The police were quick to launch an FIR and react on the matter, Jagjit Kaur was on the same day married off to a Jamaat ud Dawa member Muhammad Hassan. Kaur, on the same day, filed a restraint petition asking the court to issue restraint order.

The alleged kidnapping and then conversion of Jagjit Kaur has sparked protests within the Sikh community in Pakistan which had also threatened to boycott the Sikh convention being held at Lahore, Punjab. Safeguarding the rights of minorities has been a challenge for the Imran Khan government which has time and again been falling short of its claims of protecting minorities under the “Naya Pakistan” slogan.

Story highlights

The drama unfolded at Lahore and Nankana Sahib yesterday when the governor of Punjab met the family of Jagjit Kaur and assured them that their daughter would be safely returned.