LAHORE - A number of members and grieved parents from “My Foundation for Separated Children” gathered at Liberty Roundabout on Saturday and peacefully demonstrated against the Custody Laws and Visitation Schedules prevailing in the Custodian / Guardian courts of Pakistan.

The protesters lit candles symbolizing hope to see their children. They were also holding banners, placards and pictures of children with slogans like “My hugs are waiting for my child”, “Chief Justice, our kids are awaiting your attention”, “Do our children deserve just two hours in a month with us?” Spokesperson of the Foundation Tariq Nawaz said the protest was against the cruel family and custody laws, which were prevailing in Pakistan’s guardian courts. He said when there was a separation or divorce case registered in a court that involved child custody, the courts granted temporary custody of the child to one of the parents. The deprived non-custodian parent is forced to meet his own children for just two hours in a month on court premises. This is called “interim custody of the minor”. The interim custody prevails until the case is disposed off which usually takes several years. Until then the child is deprived of meeting the entire other half of his family. In short, the parent-child bond eventually physically and emotionally breaks with one of the parents. A child ends up losing a parent forever due to the stringent interim custody laws. This is a cruel practice by guardian courts that could lead to drastic psychological trauma on a child, said Tariq Nawaz.. There are more than 100,000 children across Pakistan; who have been deprived of one of the parents by court orders. Tariq Nawaz further said we filed a collective constitutional writ petition praying for a reasonable visitation schedule for any non-custodial parents irrespective of his socio economic status right from the start of the litigation.