Thursday Aug 11, 2022
LONDON/DUBAI: The twin daughters of model Sophia Mirza have alleged that their mother planned to get them arrested and kidnapped to Pakistan after asking them to meet in either Saudi Arabia or London.
Zainab Umar and Zuneirah Umar said this in an interview, revealing for the first time, the efforts made by their mother to separate them from their father Umar Farooq Zahoor.
Geo and The News revealed last month how Mirza didn’t use her public name and got the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to initiate inquiries into Umar Farooq Zahoor in the cases which had already been investigated and closed without any further action.
The couple has been engaged in a legal battle for the custody of their two daughters for 15 years. Mirza says she needs the custody of their two daughters Zainab and Zunierah but the daughters have come out saying they are happy to live with their father and don’t agree with the demand of their mother.
The teens have been living with their father for 15 years in Dubai as Mirza and Zahoor had separated a few days after the birth of the twins. The model initially handed over the twins to her ex-husband through a court settlement but later started a custody case and the matter reached a UAE court which gave full custody to him.
The sisters said in the interview that they have offered multiple times to their mother to visit Dubai, Singapore, Turkey, or Egypt to meet them but their mother told them first to run away from their father or meet her in London or Saudi Arabia.
Zainab shared in the interview that Mirza visited Dubai in 2017 but didn’t meet them but “she asked us to meet her in England. We found out that she wanted to get us arrested there and bring us back to Pakistan.
"You can tell her that her intentions are negative. Her plan has always been to take us back to Pakistan when we meet her. Pakistan is just two hours away from Dubai. If she really missed us and cared for us then she would come and meet us. Why has it taken her 15 years? She talked specifically about meeting us in England without our dad.”
Zuneirah said that her mother was supposed to meet the twins in June 2021 on their birthday in Singapore. She said: “She never came. She started ignoring all our messages. She also wanted to meet us in Saudi. We found out that she wanted to meet us there to get us arrested and taken to Pakistan. I find that really traumatising. It looks like she wants to win in front of the media and nothing else.
“She wanted to meet us in countries where she can have fake cases registered against our dad. She only wanted to meet in those countries but she refused to meet us in Dubai. She threatened us that we will live with her even though we don’t want to live with her.”
Zainab and Zuneirah said a false impression was created in the media that they were living in Dubai with their father as a hostage, against their will and in slave-like conditions.
They said they were living perfectly happy with their father, of their own free will and without any compulsions.
Zainab said both sisters are in regular touch with their mother. “Our dad cannot force us against our will. When we talk to the media it is by our own choice, he has not forced us and he cannot force her. He has never stopped us from talking to her. He called her in front of us and told her to come and meet us here in Dubai and that there is no problem for her to come. She speaks to the media to make it look like a very bad situation but we are coming to the media to speak because she doesn’t want to listen to anyone. When we text her she doesn’t listen so this is the only way we can speak out," she added.
Both sisters said it was unfortunate and unnecessary that the custody fight had gone public. Zainab said: “It’s unnecessary and they could have solved it in private. My dad has been always telling her that don’t bring these things on media and that basically be private and quiet. This is not like a public fight between two individuals. She doesn’t want it to end because she wants the media to be on her side. Whenever we tell the world we don’t want to live with her she tells the world we are forced. I want everyone to know that she is lying to them. Everything she is saying is fake.”
Zuneirah defended her father against the allegations made by Mirza. She said: “All her allegations against our dad are false. We told her multiple times, even today, that we are happy in Dubai but she doesn’t listen to anyone. Basically, she knows that but continues to act as if she is clueless and that we have no contact with her and as if we are miserable here. She wants to be seen in the media as someone who is a suffering mother fighting for her daughters but that’s not the case.”
The twins said they felt it was imperative to speak to the media to tell everyone that her mother was not telling the full story and that they were neither slaves of anyone nor controlled by anyone.
"She is basically implying that we are being forced to speak against our will but no one can force you to say anything. I am not a kid who can be forced. If I have to say something I will say it. I have been texting her from day one and she has been in touch with us since day one and she knows it because we have all the text messages on the phone," said Zainab.
Zuneirah said: “She doesn’t talk to us like a mother would talk to her daughters but as someone who bad mouths my dad. My dad is the one who has been there for us and has been raising us when she was not there. When she badmouths our dad, we stop communicating with her. He has never once stopped us from talking to her. He is the one who encourages us to talk to her because she is our mother at the end of the day.”