Sara Sharif’s five siblings have been taken into government childcare facilities as their father continues to evade the authorities.
Sara’s father Urfan Sharif, stepmother Beinash Batool and his brother Faisal Malik left the UK with five children, aged between one and 13, on August 9, a day before they alerted the authorities to Sara’s body in their Woking property.
The trio have since been on the run from local authorities in Pakistan, where they arrived after leaving the UK, but the five children were recovered by police on Monday evening (September 10) from Urfan Sharif’s family home in Jhelum, about 110 miles northwest of Lahore in central Pakistan.
The children were found after Interpol issued yellow notices for them. Yellow notices are used to help locate missing persons, often minors.
Police officer Nasir Mahmood Bajwa said the children have been in safe custody since their recovery.
READ MORE: Police swoop to take children from Sara Sharif’s grandfather’s house
The children were produced before the court on Tuesday under high security. They were brought in by family members first to a 40-minute, inconclusive hearing before being moved to a second court.
All five were sent to wait in a police car while the verdict was delivered. The presiding judge found that the children should be shifted to the custody of the Child Protection Bureau in Rawalpindi city, close to Islamabad.
Earlier, their grandfather, who had been looking after them since August 10, said it was his “right” to take them into his custody.
“If someone had asked about children I would have said they were safe with me,” he said. “It is my right, no one could care about them more than me.”
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Sara Sharif was found dead at her home in Woking, on the southern outskirts of London, on August 10.
British police identified her father, Urfan Sharif, his wife, Beinash Batool, and Urfan’s brother, Faisal Malik, as people they want to speak to in the investigation.
An autopsy of the girl didn’t establish a cause of death but showed that she had suffered “multiple and extensive injuries, which are likely to have been caused over a sustained and extended period of time,” British police said in a statement.
The police are continuing their search for the girl’s father and stepmother in connection with her death. The Pakistani authorities have so far been unable to locate them.
Police earlier detained 10 relatives of Urfan Sharif, including his father, brothers and cousins, for interrogation in an attempt to pressure the couple to surrender.
The grandfather who had been looking after the children made no comment as he left court today having lost custody of his grandchildren.
In a previous statement to the BBC, he said: “Since [the children] came from the UK, I didn’t let them go.
“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.”
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