On Friday the 23rd of February I walked with my client at 9am, in the court of Honourable Justice Sardar Shameem at Lahore High court. My hopes were high. My excitement was giving me goosebumps. Finally, Maimouna a Lithuvanian National was going to see her three minor daughters after 7 years. I have always imagined this feeling, a mother and child reunion that too after so many years. I had my associate ready with the camera to record this heavenly moment. Maimouna, has a Facebook page called ‘looking for my three daughters’ and one can see how she has been struggling since past 7 years. In these 7 years Maimouna was told by the IG Punjab in 2013 that the kids can not be found in Pakistan. The Pakistan consulate in Dubai would not even issue the Visa to the MOTHER of three daughters. Meanwhile, she engaged a lawyer from Multan, named Rashid Rehman who was assassinated before a case could be filed. From Asma Jahangir to Al Huda, the mother of 3 daughters tried every possible way to get her beloved daughters back. She even has Dubai courts judgement, ordering the custody of the three girls to their mother. It was on Twitter when I got an inbox from 15 years old girl Javeria, who told me about her mother’s friend. She had sent screenshot of the documents. I followed up and took the Whatsapp number. This is how I came to know of this desperate lady looking for her three daughters Maryam (13), Ayesha (11) and Amna (9). They were snatched from her nearly 7 years ago by Dr Jamshed Saddique, who belongs to DG Khan. In the letter he left to Maimouna before disappearing with the daughters in 2011 he says, “…I am sorry I am taking the daughters to Pakistan like this but I have no choice since your culture is different and you can’t live in Pakistan. My parents will give you ticket to UK or Lithuania, where ever you want to go… .” Since then Maimouna tried every possible way to contact this man but he would keep switching his numbers. She came with a hope, and today she leaves back for Dubai since her visa ex-pires today, with tears, pain and agony. The good thing is that she has strong faith in Allah. This has kept her going for last 7 years. She will be back. Maybe some Baba Rehmat will take notice of what happened today Finally, I told her that we will file a writ of Habeas Corpus under s.491 of CrPC in Lahore high court, for the production and custody of kids. We posted a video after the court issued the notice. In the video the Mother of the daughters is appealing to the people to help her locate the Daughters since Police had long ago given up. Through the video, a doctor got in touch with us and told us that Dr Jamshed is in Gujranwala. With the help of Consulate General Brig. Javed Ahsan we took the notice to DIG Gujranwala Ashfaq, to help us in making sure that Dr Jamshed appears in the court with the daughters. With the support of many doctors and police officials we finally managed to locate this man who had been on run since seven years. We were delighted and now we were in the court of law. For me the question was not of custody, it was if the mother will get conditional or unconditional custody. Whether she will be allowed to take them to their original jurisdiction immediately or after fulfilment of some formalities. The proceedings started with the facts of the case. The counsel for Dr Jamshed, made only one argument, the kids are Muslim and the mother is a non Muslim and does not speak Urdu and have been with father since 10 years. While we started our argument with the production of Dubai court judgement and giving case laws in support of its enforcement. Justice Sardar Shameem was repeatedly told about the sensitivity of the case. This followed by ruling on fundamental rights, where courts are not meant to look at the technicalities of the case when welfare of child is concerned. Supreme Court judgement was given, where Supreme Court tells about the importance of mother and how she is irreplaceable figure. Then we told the court, how her religion or language is irrelevant and the argument stand no chance in the court of law. Giving the ruling from the famous case of Roshni dessai PLD 2011 Lahore 423 where mother was Indian Hindu and national of Canada and was given child custody. The judge adjourned the hearing for an hour. He came back from the chamber after reading the judgements. He asks the daughters who are minor, if they want to be with mother. The answer was, ‘no we don’t want to go with our mother. We don’t like her. We want to stay with our father and grandmother.’ It was a shocking moment for me. The judge asks Maimouna directly, if she is given custody for one month where will she keep the kids. I told the judge has rented an apartment already in Gulberg. Furthermore, Maimouna added that she will rent a house. The judge looked at the three girls again and asked again if they want to be with the mother. With three minors standing between the father and the grandmother. While grandmother’s hand was on the shoulder of one of the daughters. The girls were seeing the mother after seven years; Jamshed had brainwashed them and in this situation one cannot expect them to give statement in the favour of Maimouna. Here is something I have for you, which you should have known, 2010 MLD 42, where the court took action against the brainwashing of the child by the parent. After 7 years, Amna was 1year old when she was taken. I cannot comprehend. It was shockingly disappointing. The proceedings ended, Maimouna who saw her daughters after 7 years was still now allowed to meet her daughters for even a minute. She came with a hope, and today she leaves back for Dubai since her visa expires today, with tears, pain and agony. The good thing is she has strong faith in Allah. This has kept her going for last 7 years. She will be back. Maybe some Baba Rehmat will take notice of what happened today. We are coming to Supreme Court but our appeal also got delayed since the Justice sab left without writing the order. Maimouna, I can only apologise for disappointing you. Have a safe flight back home. The writer is a Human Rights’ lawyer and the Director Blackstone Law Clinic Published in Daily Times, March 2nd 2018.