Pak girl in hospital in India, family seeks custody

A court here on Friday sought a reply from Pakistan's foreign ministry on a petition seeking custody of a five-year-old Pakistani girl who is currently hospitalised in India.

PTI| Updated: Sep 20, 2014, 01:15 AM IST

Lahore: A court here on Friday sought a reply from Pakistan's foreign ministry on a petition seeking custody of a five-year-old Pakistani girl who is currently hospitalised in India.

Shabnam Barkat, a resident of Lahore, had visited India along with her minor daughter Jameria Azeem in June.

During the visit, both met with a road accident in which Shabnam died while Jameria survived and is now under treatment in a hospital in New Delhi.

Jameria's grandmother Greta Rose filed the petition in the Lahore High Court.

She said her son Azim Sheraz married Shabnam in 2006 and who gave birth to Jameria in 2009. Azim died soon after his daughter was born.

"Shabnam went to Delhi in June, 2014 along with Jameria on a business tour. But unfortunately, both met a road accident there. Shabnam died while Jameria survived and is under treatment in a Delhi hospital," she said.

Rose further informed the court that Shazia Naz, mother of Shabnam, had approached the Delhi High Court for the custody of Jameria.

"But the matter has been referred to the Pakistan High Commission," she said and pleaded the girl should be handed over to her as she was her "lawful guardian".

A law officer informed the court the girl had been under treatment in India and she would only be repatriated once she had fully recovered from her injuries.

"A?family court will decide the matter of her custody," he pointed out.

Lahore High Court judge Shahzada Mazhar directed the petitioner to include all claimants of the child's custody in the list of respondents.

The judge issued a notice to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its reply and adjourned the hearing till October 1.