An Australian mother of Pakistani descent was given custody of her two children by a district and sessions court on Tuesday.
The police recovered the children, 16-year-old Rida and 14-year-old Mustafa, from their father, Mehmood Afzal Khan, who lives in Latifabad. The children were sent from Australia to Pakistan by their mother, Tahira, in April.
“I sent them upon my ex-husband’s request. He wanted them over for a brief visit,” Tahira told reporters outside the court. She accused Khan of keeping the children in illegal custody and preventing them from returning to Australia.
Tahira came to Pakistan on May 6 to take the children back but Khan refused. After unsuccessful negotiations that lasted a month, she went to court on June 5. Her son, Mustafa, was glad he was going back. “I will resume my studies there,” he said.
He was, however, upset when his mother asked the court to direct Khan to pay for the children’s accommodation and other expenses in Australia. “Mehmood should also pay for the airfare of the two children,” she demanded.
Khan and Tahira were married in 1994 and separated in 2003, when she left for Australia. “We both got married after our divorce,” she said. She clarified that the two children lived with her in Australia with Khan’s consent.
Earlier, on the order of District and Sessions Judge Fahim Ahmed Siddiqui, SHO B-Section police station found children from the Khan’s house in Latifabad Unit 6. The judge asked the SHO to record the statements of Tahira and her children and also to take action against Khan, according to the law. Meanwhile, Khan neither appeared in court nor could he be accessed for comments.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2011.
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