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Azad Kashmir CJ helps woman in child custody case

MUZAFFARABAD, Oct 8: A woman of Mirpur will be flying to the United Kingdom on Wednesday to get back the custody of her infant son allegedly ‘kidnapped’ by her British national husband nearly three months ago, it has been learnt.

Accused Affif Ajmal Akhtar had also taken away Pakistani passport and identity card of Zahira Bibi in a bid to prevent her from travelling to the United Kingdom, but her ordeal came to an end after she sought relief from AJK Supreme Court Chief Justice Reaz Akhtar Chaudhry on humanitarian grounds, a court official told Dawn on Monday.

Bibi was married to Akhtar, a British national of Kashmir origin, in Mirpur in September 2004 and moved to the UK in April 2006 after getting a visa, sponsored by her husband. She gave birth to a baby boy in Feb 2007 and on July 28 the couple arrived in Pakistan along with their son.

However, much to her horror, only a day after reaching Pakistan her husband deceived her and flew the eight-month-old Hashim back to UK with the help of his father who kept on telling her daughter-in-law one or other lie on her queries about the child.

Finally, after coming to know what had happened, she filed an application in the Supreme Court’s monitoring cell.

Acting upon the application, the Chief Justice directed the additional registrar to help her in filing an FIR in the relevant police station. On the directions of the CJ, a letter was also written to the British High Commissioner, Islamabad, for immediate legal action against the accused.

The High Commission took a swift action in the matter and got Affif arrested in the UK, the official said, adding that the British authorities also recovered from him the passport and ID card of Bibi and sent them back to Bibi to enable her to travel to Britain to take back her son’s custody.

Meanwhile, the official said that the British High Commissioner was likely to call on Justice Chaudhry at his residence in Mirpur on Tuesday to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Source: Dawn

Date:10/9/2007

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