A source of relief to both Pakistani and foreigner parents, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction will make it easier for families to bring their children to Pakistan, or to relocate their children to a foreign domicile, is nearly ready to be presented to the Cabinet for approval.
After the hectic efforts of ministers of law, finance and information, as well as the Foreign Office and the bureaucracies of the provinces, the convention has received approval almost unanimously.
The only words of reluctance for it have been, predictably, from the Council of Islamic Ideology.
As with the Women’s Protection Act, and the honour crimes bills, the necessity is to continue on the right path, despite the whimpering and protests of an archaic CII.
Meetings are imminent in the current few days, with high chances of the convention being granted preliminary approval.
The convention is required by Pakistani children stranded abroad, including for those with parents who are dual national, or foreign nationals.
Some countries such as the US even carry a warning on their website for children travelling to or from Pakistan, due to its current status as a non-signatory.
With the signing of the convention, Pakistan will be on track to receive wide acclaim from The Hague itself, as well as at the forum of the UN General Assembly, scheduled for next month.
Published in The Nation newspaper on 24-Aug-2016