The Lahore High Court on Monday directed the capital city police officer to produce the minor sons of National Highway and Motorway Police DIG Ghulam Mehmood Dogar on the petition of his wife, who is a Canadian national.
Justice Mujahid Mustaqeem Ahmed of the LHC directed the CCPO to ensure that the two minors are produced before the court on Tuesday (today). The judge issued this order after the failure of the respondent DIG to produce the children despite repeated notices.
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Unlike the previous hearings, the counsels of the DIG, appearing before the court on Monday, submitted that the habeas corpus petition against their client was non-maintainable as he was declared as a guardian of the children by a competent court of law.
To this, the judge remarked that adjudication in this case would follow the production of the detenue minors and after affording an opportunity of hearing to both parties.
The judge was hearing proceedings of a petition of Mirjam Aberras Lahdeaho, the wife of DIG Dogar. In her petition, Mirjam submitted she was a citizen of Finland and married Dogar 31 years ago.
The petitioner said she had three children with him, namely elder daughter Zara, and two sons, 17-year-old Ghulam Qasim Dogar and 14-year-old Ghulam Jafar Dogar.
She said she spent 17 years in Pakistan in different cities with Dogar, according to his police postings. The petitioner added that some years ago, Dogar advised her to obtain Canadian nationality due to the uncertain situation in Pakistan. She said both the parents of Dogar, his brother and his sister were also Canadian nationals.
Through her counsel Hina Jilani, the petitioner submitted that Dogar asked her to send the children to Pakistan to spend the holidays with him last year. She sent all three children home and then the DIG allegedly refused to let them fly back to Canada. Mirjiam claimed the respondent initially used delaying tactics and flatly refused to send them back after a few months.
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Advocate Hina said Zara, his daughter, threatened to involve the Canadian embassy if the father refused to let her return. After this, the lawyer pointed out that the policeman gave his daughter her passport and let her return to the mother. She added that the sons were minors and were unable to resist their detention.
Hina said both boys were not going to any school and the father was keeping them in his custody with the help of security guards. Hina said Dogar had himself declared as the guardian of the children by misleading the court.
She added that in his application for guardianship, the father claimed Mirjam was a Christian and the children might lose their way if not placed in his custody. The mother reiterated that she was still a Muslim and was deeply distressed by Dogar’s allegation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2017.