MEP "overjoyed" at homecoming of little Atiya

02-Jan-2013 @ 11:0

Sajjad Karim Sajjad Karim

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

North West MEP Sajjad Karim has declared his joy at the safe return of abducted child, Atiya Anjum Wilkinson.

Atiya was taken to Pakistan by her father against her mother's wishes age 3, over 3 years ago. Since then Gemma Wilkinson has had no information about her daughter, not even if she was still alive. He father Razuan Anjum, is in prison having been jailed 4 consecutive times for refusing to tell the High Court where he had taken Atiya and who she was with.

In recent weeks Sajjad has been assisting Greater Manchester Police and working with Pakistani officials to identify Atiya's whereabouts. In November he raised the matter with the Pakistani Foreign Minister in the European Parliament, who pledged her support. This was followed by intervention with the Chief Minister of the Punjab and other contacts in Pakistan.

A few weeks later, having checked a number of possible locations, the Pakistani authorities were able to confirm on Christmas Eve, that they had found Atiya living with extended family at an address in Lahore.

"Whilst I was delighted to be able to assist GMP to bring this case to a satisfactory fruition, it is the two Greater Manchester Police officers who have continued to push for over three years.

"But the real credit goes to Atiya's mum, Gemma, who never gave up and whilst we are all overjoyed at Atiya's safe return to the UK and although her uncle escorted her back home, we must remember that this Rochdale based family have cruelly refused to give the police any information, putting Gemma, her mother Lois and their family though 3 years of torture with several false alarms and raised hopes when the Anjums said Atiya would be brought home and wasn't.

"Had this additional pressure by the Police, Pakistani officials and myself not been placed on the family, particularly in Pakistan, I have no doubt we would not have Atiya home today."

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