Pakistan court gives mother custody of Scottish girl
LAHORE, Pakistan – A court ruled Wednesday that a Scottish-Pakistani girl in the middle of an international custody battle must be returned to her mother in Britain.The decision by the Lahore High Court ordered Molly Campbell, also known as Misbah Iram Ahmed Rana, to be released to British authorities within a week.From her home in Scotland, the 12-year-old’s mother said she was elated. “My immediate thoughts are a big hug – hug her and breathe her in,” Louise Campbell told BBC Scotland. “I just want to tell her that it is all going to be OK – it’s all going to work out.”The 12-year-old arrived in Lahore in August from her mother’s home in Scotland with her Pakistani father and elder sister. The mother says she was awarded custody of the girl in 2005 and claims the child was illegally taken from Scotland to Pakistan by her father.But the girl has publicly said she left of her own free will and wanted to live with her father, whose Islamic culture in Pakistan, she said, suited her better.The child’s father, Sajad Ahmed Rana, told reporters that he was deeply disappointed by the ruling and would seek an appeal.”I am very upset. My daughter is very upset. We are disappointed,” Rana said.The girl’s parents were married in a Muslim ceremony in Glasgow in 1984, and had two sons and two daughters. After the marriage broke down, the children lived with their father and moved to Pakistan. All the children later returned to Britain to live with their mother but are now back in Pakistan.The mother said the girl will get to air her side in the Scottish court, where a final custody decision is still pending.”I would love to talk to her on the phone to reassure her that the case is still going on over here and she gets to say her point of view,” Campbell told the BBC.