LONDON: A six-year-old girl is on her way home to Britain more than three years after she was abducted by her father and taken to Pakistan, police said on Friday.
Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson disappeared in November 2009 after going to stay with her father, Razwan Ali Anjum.
The former insurance salesman told the girl’s mother, Gemma Wilkinson, that he was taking Atiya to Southport in northwest England but instead took her to Lahore.
He told his former partner that she was “never going to see Atiya again”.
Anjum is currently serving a prison sentence in Britain for refusing to reveal his daughter’s whereabouts despite a court order.
Just last month her 32-year-old mother launched a fresh appeal for information about her daughter.
But sources told Britain’s Press Association agency that Atiya had been found in Pakistan after new information had come to light.
Police said Atiya was due to arrive at Manchester Airport later Friday.
Anjum, who is in his late 20s, was given a fourth consecutive jail term by a High Court judge in April after he refused to reveal where his daughter was.
He indicated that Atiya was in Pakistan or Iran but said he did not know her exact whereabouts, a claim which the judge in the case said was “absurd”.
Another judge has previously said the case was “as bad a case of child abduction as I have encountered”.
It is thought Atiya was found after police issued a computer-generated image of what Atiya would look like now — a day before her sixth birthday in November.
Speaking then, her mother said: “It’s been an absolute nightmare. As to her whereabouts we know nothing. We’ve had no contact.
“I’m worrying every day, every single day. Everything is affected by it. When I close my eyes I see her.”