NEW YORK: The daughter of a Pakistani taxi driver wept uncontrollably in a New York court as she came up to testify against her father on conspiracy charges to kill her boyfriend’s relatives in Pakistan.
Amina Ajmal, 23, the daughter and complainant took the witness stand to testify against her father, Mohammad Ajmal Choudhry, who faces life in prison if he’s convicted of orchestrating the so-called “honuor killings”.
Choudhry the father cried too, at the sight of his daughter for the first time since attending her ill-fated arranged marriage in Pakistan in late 2012.
Soon after, she fled the country with the help of her true love, Shujat Abbas, and the US State Department.
In retaliation for the perceived dishonour, Choudhry allegedly orchestrated the fatal shootings of Abbas’ father and sister. Amina broke down again when Assistant US Attorney Amanda Hector asked if she could identify her father in the courtroom for the jury. “Yes, he’s sitting there,” Amina cried.
She told jurors she came to Brooklyn at the age of 9, attending Public School 192, all-girls Bishop Kearney High School and then Brooklyn College. Her hand in marriage was promised to a young man in their rural village of Chiryawala, but Amina was smitten with Shujat who she had met at her sister’s wedding in Pakistan.
She and Shujat secretly communicated by Facebook and emails. When her father and uncle learned of the budding relationship in 2009, she was barred from returning to the US.
“(My father) told me I’m too Americanised, I need to learn my culture,” she said. Choudhry was outraged over the discovery of a secret cell phone his daughter was using to call Shujat.
“He said, ‘I don’t want to hear any more complaints about you. I will kill you if you do anything wrong,’” she testified.