LAHORE: A group of lawyers representing Faisalabad Regional Police Officer Ghulam Mahmood Dogar on Monday audaciously manhandled a man from the opposite party in the court of an additional district and sessions judge hearing an appeal of the RPO against the alleged illegal shifting of his children from Pakistan by his Canadian national wife.
During the hearing, the police officer’s lawyers, who were over a dozen in number, kept abusing and provoking Waseem Ijaz, a guarantor in the children’s custody matter on behalf of their Canadian mother Mirjam Aberras Lahdeaho, despite repeated warnings by AD&SJ Adnan Tariq.
Senior lawyer Hina Jillani represented Mr Ijaz.
Soon after Ms Jillani and Mr Dogar’s counsel Syed Ali Hassan concluded their arguments, the aggressive lawyers pounced upon Mr Ijaz and started roughing him up in the presence of the judge, slapping him in the face and punching him ruthlessly.
The lawyers also manhandled Muhammad Akram, an office-assistant of Ms Jillani and snatched his mobile phone when he tried to make a footage of the violence using its camera.
The judge was shocked to see the violence as his efforts to calm down the lawyers failed.
Ms Jillani and her associates rescued both Mr Ejaz and Mr Akram from the lawyers.
Meanwhile, the judge left for his chamber to dictate the decision of the proceedings.
Earlier, in his arguments, Mr Dogar’s counsel took a plea that the Canadian lady took away the children with her unlawfully.
He said Mr Ejaz had deposited surety bonds before a guardian court when the custody of the minors was given to the mother.
He argued that the guarantor was responsible, under the law, to ensure production of the minors before the court.
He also argued that the court could not proceed on the appeal of the father without the production of the children.
He said Mr Ejaz also possessed Canadian passport and there was a possibility that he would also abscond.
The counsel asked the court to take custody of Mr Ejaz’s passport and also place order placing of his name on exit control list (ECL).
Mr Dogar told the court that the passports of the children were with him but their mother got them removed with “criminal assistance” of the Canadian Embassy.
On the other side, Ms Jillani argued that the guarantor was not supposed to ensure production of the respondent’s children as the surety deposited by him was meant for obtaining guardianship certificate from the guardian court.
She said the court should have issued a notice to the mother of the children instead of issuing arrest warrants of the guarantor.
After hearing the arguments, the judge directed Mr Ejaz to surrender his passport with the court and ensure production of the minors on Jan 24.
Ms Lahdeaho had arrived in Pakistan last year to get custody of her children back, with a claim that her police officer husband brought them from Canada to Pakistan secretly and unlawfully. Mr Dogar had produced the minors – Qasim Dogar (17) and Jaffer Dogar (13) -- before the Lahore High Court after she filed a habeas corpus petition.
Ms Lahdeaho, who also embraced Islam and was given a Muslim name Maryam, said she married Dogar on March 6, 1997, in Lahore and stayed in Pakistan for over 12 years along with three children before moving to Canada as permanent residents in 2009. Zahra Dogar, 19, was their third child.
The lady had flown back to Canada on June 16, 2018, after a guardian court decided the custody of children in her favour.
Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2019