In 2011, the Spanish Embassy in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan received a call in desperation from a Pakistani minor living in the Barcelona metropolitan area who managed to call the embassy and inform her that her relatives wanted her to marry against his will. The call activated a security device in absolute secrecy, thus avoiding said wedding and guaranteeing the young woman’s return to Spain.
“She called us very scared looking for help,” a diplomatic source said on condition of anonymity. She went by decision of her family in Catalonia to the village where they are from to visit her relatives, and there she found a surprise that they wanted to marry her. I was 17 years old.”
The minor was smuggled out of the village and handed over to the embassy in Islamabad.
Given the seriousness of the case and its nature, the embassy diplomats preferred to maintain absolute secrecy and organize a covert device. The young woman helped to locate, and the Spanish officials agreed with her that she would be the first thing in the morning at the right place. Security officials dependent on the Ministry of the Interior, usually CNI agents, arrived in a car without diplomatic plates to the village, where the minor was taken away. They soon returned to the embassy in Islamabad.
“She was only a few weeks away from coming of age,” recalls the aforementioned source, “and we decided to put her up at the embassy until the day she turns 18. She was given an appropriate Spanish passport and, always discreetly, put on a safe plane bound for Europe.”
The device was kept secret so as not to upset the local authorities.
The operation was kept secret to avoid possible friction with the Pakistani authorities, as the facts were kept secret to ensure – which was a priority – the return of the young woman, whose identity did not want to be revealed, to Spain. Such operations are kept secret by the Foreign Ministry, despite the fact that they could help improve the image of the diplomatic service, which travelers and tourists often criticize in uncomfortable but not serious situations.
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