Five children who travelled to Pakistan with the father and step-mother of 10-year-old Sara Sharif will be taken into the custody of the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau, a judge has ruled.
The children, aged between one and 13, were recovered from the house of Sara’s grandfather in the northeastern city of Jhelum on Monday after a raid by local police.
Their grandfather, Mohammad Sharif, told Sky News the children had been with him since they arrived in Pakistan over a month ago and he felt it was his “duty to protect them”.
He had hoped they would be able to come back home following the court hearings in Jhelum today, but Senior Judge Javed Iqbal Khokar ruled they should be taken into custody by Pakistani authorities.
Police also confirmed to Sky News they have at least four teams in the city searching for Sara’s father, step-mother and uncle.
The children are understood to have travelled from the UK to Pakistan with Sara‘s father Urfan Sharif, her stepmother Beinash Batool, and Mr Sharif’s brother Faisal Shahzad Malik last month.
Authorities want to question the trio over the death of 10-year-old Sara, whose body was found at her home in Woking, Surrey, on 10 August after her father called 999 from Pakistan. He had flown there from Britain a day earlier.
The events in Pakistan come after UK officers launched a murder investigation after Sara was found dead. A post-mortem examination revealed she had suffered “multiple and extensive” injuries.