The Islamic Republic of Pakistan signed The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1980 in December 2016, which has been enforced w.e.f 01.03.2017. The objects of the Convention are to secure the prompt return of the children wrongfully removed or retained and ensure the rights of the children. Pakistan is a Federation and in its Constitution, the subject of family and children is vested in the Provinces. To effectively implement the Convention, The Hague Convention, 1980, has been added in the Schedule of the West Pakistan Family Courts Act, 1964 as entry 6-A to bring international child Abduction cases within the jurisdiction of the family courts in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and all Provinces of Pakistan including Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan also done the same. The Central Authority under the Convention lies in Ministry of Law and Justice. 


The convention is enforceable between Pakistan and only those States/Countries that have declared their acceptance of Pakistan’s Accession to the Convention in terms of Article 38 of The Hague Convention. The details of the State/Countries that have declared their acceptance of Pakistan accession are available here “https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/status-table/acceptances/?mid=1358”.  


  1. A request for return/access under the Hague Convention shall be submitted through the Application Form designed for this purpose available on the Website of Ministry of Law and Justice. Link of the same is added for convenience https://molaw.gov.pk/SiteImage/Misc/files/Form(1).pdf. The application form available on HCCH website will also be accepted.
  2. In terms of Article 38 of the Hague Convention, such request shall be processed only, where the Country/State has bilateral arrangements for the enforcement of Hague Convention with Pakistan in terms of Article 38 of the Convention. The detail of Countries/States which have accepted Pakistan’s accession is accessible at this link https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/status-table/acceptances/?mid=1358
  3. A request shall be moved/ made by the left behind parent/Central Authorities through the above stated application form along with following necessary documents:-


    1. a. Photographs of the taking parent/minor;
    2. b. Copies of Passport of taking parent/minor;
    3. c. Identity Card Number of taking parent;
    4. d. Marriage certificate/Nikahnama;
    5. e. Birth certificate of minor;
    6. f. Court’s decisions, if any;
    7. g. any other proof of habitual residence.


  1. The request may be submitted, through hard and soft copies on the following address:-

Office of the Solicitor General,

Ministry of Law and Justice,

Room No. 343, R, Block,

Pak Secretariat,

Islamabad, Pakistan.

E-Mail: focal.person@molaw.gov.pk

Phone No. 009251-9203464


 In pursuance of Article 7 of the Convention, the Central Authority will perform the following duties:-



  1. On receipt of request, a limited review shall be conducted to see whether the request falls within the purview of the Convention; and if the application is complete in all respects? This will be conducted by examining and assessing the documents, keeping in view the standard requirements.
  2. After examining the request, the Central Authority of Pakistan shall forward the request to the concerned Central Authority of the State through appropriate means, where the minor has allegedly been removed, under intimation to the applicant.
  3. In case if the request is incomplete or any additional documents are required or the request cannot be entertained under The Hague Convention, then the applicant/left behind parent shall be asked to remove the deficiency at the earliest and will be informed of the final decision.




  1. After receipt of request from the Central Authority of the requesting State or left behind parent, conduct a review whether the request falls within the purview of the Convention; this will be conducted by examining and assessing the documents.
  2. In case a request is moved/ made by the left behind parent, such request shall be sent to the Central Authority (CA) concerned for its authentication.
  3. In case of any deficiency in the request, the Central Authority concerned shall be informed accordingly.
  4. After conducting the review of request, Central Authority of Pakistan shall forward the request to NADRA/FIA through Ministry of Interior, to find out the child/taking parent’s arrival data through travel history, particulars, whereabouts and parentage, if the child’s actual residence in Pakistan is not known.
  5. The NADRA/FIA shall within 10 days of the receipt of request, provide the requisite information to the Central Authority of Pakistan.
  6. After receipt of response from the concerned, e.g. NADRA/FIA, the Central Authority shall refer the request to the Provincial/ICT Home Department concerned for physical confirmation of the presence of Taking Parent/minor at the given address through Law Enforcement Agencies.
  7. The Provincial/ICT Home Department shall respond within 10 days of the receipt of request from the Central Authority.
  8. After receipt of response from concerned Home Department, the Central Authority with the permission/authorization of Left Behind Parent, could ask the taking parent for voluntary return of the child. After receipt of response from the taking parent, in any case will inform the Left Behind Parent through Central Authority concerned.

NOTE: (i) In case the taking parent refuse to voluntarily return of the minor or choose not to respond with in fortnight, the Left Behind Parent may file a return petition before the Family Court concerned seeking return/access of minor under entry 6A of the schedule to the Family Court Act, 1964 read with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1980, if it considers it advisable.

(ii) Where the left behind parent has already resorted for judicial remedy for return/custody of minor and the proceedings have already commenced before the competent court of jurisdiction, then in this scenario since, the whereabouts of minor/taking parent are known, hence in that case the decision of the Court shall be followed. Neither the review nor tracing the whereabouts in this scenario will be necessary for Pakistan Central Authority.

(iii) Central Authority of Pakistan shall keep the Foreign Central Authority/ left behind parent informed about the progress of the case pending before it. However, if the matter is pending adjudication before a Family Court, it might not be able to get progress on each date of hearing until and unless the parties choose to implead it as party as well.


The Pakistan Central Authority shall follow the court order where a minor has been ordered to be returned to its habitual place of residence. However, it does not bear the costs relating to return and making of travel arrangements.


Pakistan has made following reservations to Article 26 and 42 of the Convention.

  1. The Central Authority will not provide legal advice on the requests.
  2. Legal representation if required in return proceedings, the Central Authority may arrange legal representation by lawyers subject to payment of charges by the applicant or requesting Authority.
  3. The requesting State or applicant has to pay the charges for Legal assistance, cover costs i.e, Translation, Interpreters, Service of documents, Costs associated with locating the child, Court fees, Travel charges.

Note:- The Pakistan Central Authority does not bear the costs of legal representation. It could only suggest one or two attorneys willing to take a case, if so required by requesting parent. The attorneys on the panel of Central Authority are not representatives or agents of the Pakistan Central Authority or the Government of Pakistan. This list does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of the Ministry of Law and Justice. Ministry of Law and Justice assumes no responsibility for the performance of these attorneys. The list is arranged alphabetically and has no other significance. The applicant/requesting parent would have to bear the costs of attorneys and related expenses. The applicant is under no obligation to retain any of the attorneys on the list, and the attorneys on the list are under no obligation to take on the applicant as a client.