Two polish wives of a Pakistani given custody of children

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IHC orders FIA to hand passports of minors to mothers

Zubair Qureshi

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday granted two Polish women custody of them two children from an of people their ex-husband.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani gave the verdict while hearing a petition filed by two Polish women who were married to a Pakistani businessman namely Saleem Muhammad – a resident of Sialkot.

The court had a day earlier (Tuesday) allowed the petitioners, Isa Nowa, and Johana Mohammad to take their young ones, a boy and a girls for a day and spend the night at Poland embassy.

The court had also directed the man to surrender passports of the minors to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

On Wednesday, as the court resumed hearing, the judge asked the FIA official if the children’s passports were in FIA possession, he replied in the assent. On this the court directed the agency to hand their passports to the petitioners and remove their names from the Exit Control List (ECL).

According to Pakistan’s family laws, minor children cannot be handed to their father, the judge observed. The man’s lawyer argued that his client is a Muslim and he had two children from his two Christian ex-wives.

The children’s father further apprised the IHC that he brought the children to Pakistan with the consent of their mothers, adding that his relationship with his ex-wives had worsened due to religious beliefs as his wives used to take his children to the church.

The court asked the father why he shouldn’t have taken the kids to Poland to nurture his children as he had the Polish citizenship.

The father said it is very difficult for him to raise his children under the Islamic umbrella as the nearest mosque was some 300 kilometres far from his house. The court observed since he owned a large business in Poland, he could construct a mosque near his home.

On this the women’s counsel submitted it was agreed between them that they (mothers) would take the kids to churches and he to mosques and it would be left to the children themselves to decide which religion they wanted to adopt when they grew up.

While questioning Saleem about his dual nationality, the court observed that it was a crime to which he said he was ready to cancel his 10-year-old Polish citizenship for his kids but he won’t take his children to Poland. Upon being asked by the court, both women refused to meet their ex-husband.