Molly Campbell's father in appeal against court order

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The father of the schoolgirl Molly Campbell, who is at the centre of a custody battle, yesterday launched an appeal to keep his daughter in Pakistan.

Sajad Rana's appeal was lodged at the Supreme Court in an attempt to prevent Molly, also known as Misbah Rana, being returned to her mother, who lives in the Western Isles in the UK. He said: "The appeal has been lodged and my solicitor tells me that they will tell me next Monday or Tuesday about it.

"In the meantime, I've been told not give interviews as it might jeopardise my case."

The businessman is hoping the appeal will result in the suspension of an order by a judge at the High Court in Lahore that the schoolgirl should be handed over to the British High Commission in Islamabad by next Wednesday.

Mr Rana said yesterday that he did not know if it will mean that his daughter can remain in Pakistan until the appeal. "All I can do is hope, really," he said.

"I have to fight to the end for my daughter. This is what she wants me to do."