Sara Sharif: Pakistani police recover five children from grandfather’s house – The Guardian

Five children of Sara’s father, Urfan Sharif, found in Jhelum as search continues for Sharif, his wife and his brother
Five children of a man who fled to Pakistan with his wife and brother before his 10-year-old daughter Sara Sharif was found dead in Surrey were found by police in Pakistan during a search on Monday, police officials have said.
Police recovered the children from Urfan Sharif’s father’s home in the northern city of Jhelum.
Dozens of police officers raided the home of Muhammad Sharif, Sara’s grandfather, on Monday.
Nasir Mehmood Bajwa, a district police officer, said: “Police with a heavy contingent on Monday evening raided Sharif’s residence in Jhelum and recovered five children. They are healthy and in good condition.”
It has been a month since Sharif arrived in Pakistan and called 999 in the UK to report that his daughter was dead at his home in Horsell, near Woking. A postmortem examination found she had suffered “multiple and extensive injuries” over a “sustained and extended” period of time.
Sharif, 41, went to ground along with Sara’s stepmother, Beinash Batool, 29, his five other children, aged between one and 13, and his brother, Faisal Malik, 28.
Bajwa said police broke the locks of the main gate, entered the house and confiscated CCTV cameras. He said they were continuing to search for Sharif, Batool and Malik. Police in Pakistan have raided more than 20 properties in the search.
The Sharif family lawyer, Raja Haq Nawaz, said he did not know the children were in their grandfather’s home.
The BBC reported that a neighbour said: “Police officers, including female officers, raided the house. They broke the CCTV at the entrance and entered it. While inside, more officers arrived outside and stopped the traffic. They stopped everyone from filming on their mobile phones.”
Muhammad Sharif told the BBC he had been hiding the children in his home in the north-eastern city of Jhelum but would not say how long they had been there.
“Since they came from the UK, I didn’t let them go,” he told the BBC.
“I told Urfan and Beinash that they can go wherever they want to, but I will not let the children go with you. Until today, no one had asked me about the children.
“They kept asking me about Urfan, Faisal and Beinash, no one asked me about the children.”
He had previously repeatedly denied being in touch with his son or knowing where the family was.
Sharif and Batool appeared in a video released to the media by relatives last week. Batool was the only one to speak, saying “Sara’s death was an incident” and giving no other comment about her stepdaughter or the circumstances of her death.
She went on to say: “Our family in Pakistan are severely affected by all that is going on. My main concern is that Pakistani police will torture or kill us, that is why we have gone into hiding.”
Muhammad said at the weekend that negotiations were taking place over the trio’s safe transfer to UK authorities.
A spokesperson for Surrey police said: “We are aware of the media reporting today (11 September), with the update that the five children have been found by Pakistani police.
“Clearly this is significant, and we have been liaising with Surrey county council and our international partners, including Interpol, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the National Crime Agency, to determine the next steps.”
The force added that the welfare of the five children continued to be the priority.


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