Lahore: Authorities in Pakistan`s Punjab province handed over a one-year-old abandoned girl to a childless couple after refusing some seven other hopefuls, including President Asif Ali Zardari, who wanted the baby for his sister Faryal Talpur.
Allama Iqbal Medical College principal Javed Akram handed over the girl, named Fatima by hospital doctors, to Muhammad Iqbal and his wife Ayesha during a ceremony held yesterday.
The adoption procedure was completed after the administration of state-run Jinnah Hospital turned down applications from seven persons, including Zardari, who wanted the baby for his sister, parliamentarian Talpur.
The ailing girl was left by an unknown woman at Jinnah Hospital some weeks ago.
Eight persons, including Zardari, subsequently approached the hospital`s administration to adopt the baby. Zardari applied through the Pakistan Baita-ul-Mal (an autonomous body) in a letter dated January 25 that was addressed to Medical Superintendent Afzal Shaheen. The letter stated: "The President of Pakistan has been pleased to direct that subject girl child may be handed over to Mrs Faryal Talpur, Member (of the) National Assembly, and sister of the President".
A committee constituted by Jinnah Hospital to consider the applications turned down the President`s request along with those made by seven others.
The committee handed over the baby to Iqbal and his wife on the condition that she would be given a share in the family`s property.