Sara Sharif: Pak and UK authorities dispute the future of siblings
Courts in both Pakistan and the United Kingdom are embroiled in a complicated legal dispute regarding the disposition of Sara Sharif’s siblings. Sara, age 10, was discovered deceased in her Woking, Surrey, residence in August. Her uncle, father, and stepmother all deny she was murdered.
Once transported to Pakistan, the siblings’ final place of residence will be determined by the overlapping cases. They are now reportable subsequent to the lifting of restrictions in response to an application by media organisations.
There have been a succession of proceedings in the Family Division of the High Court in London since the discovery of Sara Sharif’s body. Sara’s siblings were designated as wards of court during those proceedings, and the court ordered their return to the United Kingdom.
As a consequence, Surrey County Council petitioned the High Court in Lahore, Pakistan, for permission to repatriate the children to the United Kingdom. The legal proceedings in both London and Pakistan are ongoing; however, the children are currently located in Pakistan.
The day before Sara Sharif’s body was discovered on August 10, her stepmother Beinash Batool, father Urfan Sharif, and relative Faisal Malik all departed the United Kingdom for Pakistan with her five siblings.
For five weeks, the whereabouts of the three adults and five children remained unknown. The Pakistani police then discovered the children during a search on the home of the children’s grandfather, Muhammad Sharif.
Muhammad Sharif informed the sources that they had been accommodated by their family there ever since their arrival in the nation.
The court issued an order the day following their discovery, mandating that the children be placed in a childcare facility located in Pakistan.
Their patriarch initiated litigation in Pakistani courts in an effort to regain sole custody of the children. After a few days had passed, the three adults who were not present with the children were taken into custody upon their return to the United Kingdom.
They were also charged with causing or enabling the death of a child, in addition to the crime of murder. Nobody has been found guilty by any of the three.
In a request that was submitted on October 19th, the Surrey Country Council requested permission from the High Court in Lahore to bring the children, who ranged in age from one to thirteen, back to Surrey.
On account of the fact that many cases, including criminal charges, were being heard, the courtroom in Lahore was completely packed with only standing room available.
During the proceeding, the court demanded that all five of the children be present. Before their case was heard, they were first detained in a room in the back of the building.
When the judge had finished speaking to all of the parties in his chamber, he decided to grant interim custody of the children to the grandfather of the children.
Muhammad Sharif continues to be the legal guardian of the children, despite the fact that the case has been heard multiple times in Pakistan since October. There is still a case pending that will decide who will have permanent custody of them.