A 22-year-old woman recently approached the Supreme Court making a request that is unheard of. Tatheer Fatima expressed her desire to replace her father’s name with her mothers on 13th September. Fatima claimed that having never met the man who abandoned her while she was still a child, she wanted to only be associated with her mother.

Her plea has forced people to wonder if a father’s name is to be attached to their child’s even if they’ve never been more than a biological investment in their life. She also inquired if she could be an independent citizen of Pakistan without having any blood ties.

The SC requested both the Immigration and Passport department as well as the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to respond to Fatima’s plea. Her father was also located and brought to court, upon inquiry he confirmed that he hadn’t met his daughter in the last 16 years.

The father was interrogated why he abandoned his daughter and if any attempts were made to reconnect with her in the past 16 years. The father claimed that his absence was due to the mother’s disallowance. The judge later demanded that he pay for his daughter’s finances that the mother had to cater to over the years of his absence.

To this, he responded with a statement that he himself is destitute. His statement was later taken up by the FIA for further investigation. He was also informed that if he is unable to make due payments, he will have to face jail time.

Later, it was deduced that Tatheer’s name could not be changed to Tatheer Fatima Binte Pakistan in accordance to the Islamic law.

Tatheer claimed that in the past she had required documents from her father that he had refused to provide until she would issue a formal statement defiling her mother’s character and claiming that Tatheer no longer wanted to reside with her. She demanded that the claim be considered her right. Her mother, Fehmida Butt also appeared before the court claiming that merely providing for a child’s finances is not the only job of a parent. Tatheer also disagreed with the claims that her mother was the one with bad character.

Regarding her father, she stated; “You can only receive respect when you give someone the opportunity to respect you. If you misbehave with them, you will not get respect.”

Her petition is considered beyond the law and the court has declared that it cannot be treated with the same respect. Tatheer currently seeks answers and does not understand why is being forced to keep her father’s name when she has no affiliation with him of any sort. Her predicament cannot be dealt with under Islamic or Pakistani laws and until now, she has been informed that she must remain attached to her father’s name.

The case has been adjourned for the next ten days.


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