LAHORE – 11-year-old Amna was handed over to her French mother despite the girl’s sobs and cries at the Lahore High Court on Friday. The French woman Ingrid Brainden Burjer, had filed a habeas corpus petition seeking the custody of her daughter Amna from her ex-husband Abdul Razzaq.

The petitioner explained that she had married the Pakistani national in 1999 and gave birth to a daughter; however the couple had divorced soon afterwards. The French courts had given Amna’s custody to her mother. Later, Abdul Razzaq managed to return to Pakistan with his daughter in 2005 and started living in his native town Phalia, Mandi Bahauddin.

She contended that the Sessions Court Mandi Bahuddin had also granted Amna’s custody to her mother in 2009, Razzaq was refusing to give his child to a Christian woman. She requested the Lahore High Court to direct Raazaq to hand over her daughter.

Following the LHC’s ruling in Ms Burjer’s favor, the police produced Amna in court. But she too refused to go with her Christian mother, saying that she was a Muslim girl and could not live with a non-Muslim woman. Instead, Amna insisted to go with her father Abdul Razzaq. However, Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik ruled that under the laws of Pakistan and France, a mother has the custodial rights for her immature child and the court could not issue a verdict that was not in-line with the law, irrespective of the girl’s emotions. The LHC upheld the previous decisions and ordered the girl to be handed over to her mother, amid anguished cries of denial from Amna. The girl cried that her father had suffered a heart attack and was under treatment.