Naheeda Bi describes 10-year Pakistan kidnap ordeal

Image caption,
Naheeda Bi said she was kidnapped on a visit to Pakistan 10 years ago

A Scottish woman has spoken of her joy at being reunited with her family after claiming to have been held hostage for 10 years in Pakistan.

Naheeda Bi, 28, told the Daily Record newspaper she was kidnapped by two men at Islamabad Airport in April 2000.

She had been returning to her home in Glasgow alone after a visit to relatives in Pakistan.

Strathclyde Police said it was involved in an international investigation into what happened to Ms Bi.

Ms Bi told the newspaper she had been queuing for a flight back to Manchester when she was pulled aside by two men in uniform who told her the plane had been delayed.

After being given a glass of water, she said the next thing she remembered was waking up in a bare room.

She said: "I fell asleep maybe, that is what I felt had happened. But I can't get my head round it.

"All I remember is when I woke up, the way I felt was really headachy and I remember looking around me and trying to figure out where I am."

She added: "I was terrified. I shouted, I screamed and called for my parents maybe."

Ms Bi said she was held in a dark windowless room for at least two months then forced to work making munitions.

She had her head shaved by her captors and became so ill she feared she might die.

Over the course of the 10 years she said she was moved between four different camps and occasionally saw her uncle Masood, who was also kidnapped at the airport.

Three weeks ago she was suddenly freed and dumped, along with her uncle, in a remote area in the Punjab, she added.

She is now back in Glasgow after being reunited with her mother Rabia and father Akram in hotel in small town called Dina.

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: "We are absolutely delighted that Naheeda has been reunited with her family and are happy to have played a part in her safe return to Glasgow.

"Obviously she has been through a terrible ordeal over the past 10 years and we will continue to support Naheeda and her family in every way that we can."

The force said it had liaised with authorities in Pakistan when the family reported Ms Bi's disappearance.

Image caption,
Ms Bi was kidnapped as she returned from a visit to see relatives in Pakistan

Det Ch Insp Andrew Gunn added: "When we were made aware of this a liaison officer was put in place to communicate with the Pakistani authorities and the family.

"Due to there being no communication from the persons holding her it was extremely difficult to ascertain her whereabouts.

"We continually liaised with the Pakistani officials and offered every assistance."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed that Ms Bi's brother contacted them in 2007 and indicated that he was trying to trace his sister who had been missing since 2000.

'Distressing case'

A spokeswoman said: "We gave him the appropriate advice regarding reporting a missing person based on the information he provided.

"On May 28 2010 Strathclyde Police informed us that the family had been contacted by Ms Bi's abductors and that the family were travelling to Pakistan.

"FCO consular staff made contact with the family on May 29 and provided appropriate consular assistance to the family and to Ms Bi on her release."

FCO staff provided a passport for Ms Bi's return to the UK.

Glasgow North Labour MP Ann McKechin said: "I have been in touch with the family in Glasgow and have offered my assistance.

"This is a particularly distressing case for all concerned.

"The priority now is to ensure her safety and, of course, her medical and emotional care."

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