Mother appeals for safe return of daughter, 12, feared abducted by father for forced marriage

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The Independent Online

The mother of a 12-year-old girl feared to have been abducted by her father and flown from Scotland to Pakistan for an arranged marriagebroke down in tears as she appealed for the return of her child.

The girl went missing from school on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides and is believed to have flown to Lahore with her father and sister, prompting an international investigation involving the UK and Pakistan authorities and Interpol.

Molly, who is also known as Misbah Iram Ahmed Rana, was last seen on Friday morning in Stornoway from where, police suspect, she was picked up by her 18-year-old sister and flown to Glasgow before boarding a flight to Pakistan.

Molly and her mother, Louise Campbell, are understood to have moved home three times in recent months to hide from the girls' father, Sajad Ahmed Rana.

Molly is the youngest of four children born to Ms Campbell and Mr Rana, a former market trader. They married in 1984 after meeting in Glasgow when he was 23 and Ms Campbell was 16. Their eldest child, Omar, 20, is married and lives in London, while Tahmia, 18, and their second son, Adam, live in Pakistan with their father.

Only Molly remained with her mother, despite several alleged attempts by Mr Rana to take his daughter to Pakistan.

It is believed that Mrs Campbell and her daughter had been in hiding from Mr Rana for the past 18 months when they fled their home in Glasgow and moved to Drummore, near Stranraer in the west of Scotland. After Mr Rana tracked them down, the family moved again to the Isle of Lewis, where Molly started at a new secondary school, the Nicolson Institute, two weeks ago.

Yesterday, shaking and crying, a distraught Ms Campbell appealed for her daughter's return.

"We are absolutely devastated by the events of the last few days and we are finding it very difficult to come to terms with what has happened," she said as she was comforted by her new partner, Kenny Campbell. "This has come completely out of the blue as Molly seemed to be enjoying life in the Western Isles since we moved here nine months ago."

Mrs Campbell said Molly was a friendly, outgoing girl, who made friends easily, and loved riding her bike and going down to the beach in Stornoway.

"We would appeal to Molly's father, sister and family to make sure she returns to us as her absence has left a huge gap in our lives," she said.

"If there is anyone who can provide police with any information about Molly's whereabouts or her movements since leaving Stornoway on Friday we would urge them to do so."

In a direct appeal to her daughter, Ms Campbell added: "I would like to say to Molly that we miss her so much and we beg her to come home to us.

"She has to know she is not in any trouble and we are not angry, we just want her home."

Police have confirmed that someone they believe to be Molly made contact with police in Stornoway on Saturday but they do not know where the call was made from.

Yesterday, Molly's grandmother, Violet Robertson, said the family was worried that the schoolgirl had been taken to Pakistan for an arranged marriage with a 25-year-old man.

Mrs Robertson, 67, said she feared her granddaughter would be forced to become a child bride.

"Molly is only a little girl. It's an arranged marriage. She doesn't know the man. He's 25," Mrs Robertson added. "Molly's mum has been running from Sajad for a long time now. He won't hand Molly back - never. I'm scared she's gone for good."

Although police refused to comment on the family's fears of an arranged marriage or to speculate as to why Molly had been taken to Pakistan, Chief Inspector Murdo Fraser of Northern Constabulary said he was anxious to reunite Molly with her mother, who is her legal guardian. He said he had asked the Pakistani authorities for help.

Police, who discovered that Molly met her father in Stornoway the day before she disappeared and had somehow obtained a new passport, believe she is now in Lahore or staying with relatives in Karachi. Flight records show that Molly, her sister and Mr Rana left Glasgow, on the 2.55pm Emirates flight EK026 to Lahore via Dubai last Friday.

"We are appealing for anyone who has any knowledge of where Molly is to get in touch with us and give us some assurances in terms of her safety and well-being," said Chief Inspector Fraser.

"What we are dealing with is a possible abduction. We will not be able to establish if Molly went willingly until we speak to her directly.

"She is a 12-year-old child and, as with any other case involving a child reported missing, we have obvious concerns," he said. "As a priority, we want to have some reassurances, wherever they may come from, that she is safe and well."