A judge has ruled that five children who traveled to Pakistan with the father and stepmother of 10-year-old Sara Sharif will be taken into care. The children, aged between one and 13, were recovered from Sara’s grandfather’s house in Jhelum after a raid by local police. As the investigation into Sara’s death unfolds, authorities are searching for Sara’s father, stepmother, and uncle.
The decision by Senior Judge Javed Iqbal Khokar to place the children in the custody of the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau marks a significant development in this case. Their grandfather, Mohammad, had hoped they would be able to return home, but the judge ruled otherwise. Mohammad expressed his belief that it was his “duty to protect them” during their stay in Pakistan. However, the court has deemed it necessary to ensure the children’s safety and well-being by placing them in the care of the authorities.
The children’s journey from the UK to Pakistan raises questions about their involvement in the events surrounding Sara’s death. Sara’s father, Urfan Sharif, her stepmother, Beinash Batool, and his brother, Faisal Shahzad Malik, accompanied the children on this trip. The Pakistani authorities are eager to question the trio in connection with Sara’s tragic demise. Her lifeless body was discovered in their Woking home on August 10th, prompting a murder investigation by British officers. A post-mortem examination revealed that Sara had endured “multiple and extensive” injuries, intensifying the urgency of the case.
Detective Superintendent Mark Chapman, representing the Surrey Police and Sussex Police Major Crime Team, emphasized that the safety and welfare of the five children have always been a top priority. The court’s decision to place them in a Pakistani government childcare facility reflects this commitment. The authorities will continue to cooperate with their partners to ensure that the children receive the necessary care and support during this challenging time. However, the investigation remains ongoing as the search for Urfan Sharif, Beinash Batool, and Faisal Malik continues.
Beinash Batool, in a video shared with Sky News, affirmed the family’s willingness to cooperate with British authorities and fight their case in court. She expressed concern for their family in Pakistan, claiming that they have been forced into hiding and are experiencing severe hardships, including a lack of food for the children. Batool also addressed the reports surrounding Sara’s cause of death, refuting claims that her brother-in-law had suggested Sara fell downstairs. She attributed this misinformation to a Pakistani media outlet.
Sara Sharif’s parents, Ms. Sharif and her husband, had separated in 2015. Following a family court ruling in 2019, Sara and her older brother began residing with their father. Although Ms. Sharif retained equal visitation rights, she encountered difficulties in maintaining those rights as time went on. The intricacies of their familial dynamics and the events leading up to Sara’s untimely death add further complexity to this heartbreaking case.
As the investigation into Sara Sharif’s death continues, the well-being and safety of the children involved remain paramount. The decision to place them in the custody of the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau aims to provide them with the necessary care and support during this challenging time. Meanwhile, authorities persist in their search for Sara’s father, stepmother, and uncle, hoping to shed light on the circumstances that led to her tragic demise. The cooperation of the family and their commitment to fighting their case in court underscore the determination to seek justice and find answers in this heartbreaking ordeal.