ISLAMABAD: In a rather unusual instance, the Supreme Court on Thursday heard a girl’s request to have her surname changed to “Pakistan”.
Tatheer Fatima also requested the court to remove her father’s name from her government documents.
During the hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar said it was the first instance of such a case being presented before the court.
He said that according to the law, a father is the head of a household and there was no space in the law of the country or religion to make such a change. “Children are identified by their father,” maintained the top judge.
Addressing the court, Tatheer said that her father did not provide her with the documents she required because of which she had to face a lot of difficulties.
The chief justice asked why the request submitted before the court had stated the girl’s name as “Tatheer binte Pakistan” [daughter of Pakistan], with Pakistan in the place of her father’s name.
“We accept that she is Pakistan’s daughter,” the top judge remarked.
Tatheer Fatima’s mother enquired what a daughter was to do when her father leaves her and does not provide her with legal documents when she is in need.
“Parents disinherit their children,” said the petitioner to which Justice Ijazul Ahsan responded that the law does not have a concept of disinheriting children.
The petitioner shared that Fatima’s father’s name was Mohammad Shahid Ayub. The top judge ordered that he be presented in the court.
The CJP reiterated the solution was not to have her fathers name removed from documents and said that they would find a solution to this problem and Fatima will be “evidence of the first droplet in rainfall”.
He said that they will see what to do with children whose parents do not provide them with their documents.
Her father’s correct address wasn’t available and Fatima added that his CNIC number written on her B-Form was also incorrect.
The court asked the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) for their complete cooperation in providing them with all information regarding the whereabouts of Fatima’s father.
Her father has been issued a notice by the court and the hearing has been postponed for a week.