UK police hunt for Pakistani father following 10-year-old daughter’s murder


PTI, Aug 19, 2023, 10:07 AM IST

A British police force on Friday launched an international manhunt for a Pakistani father, his female partner and his brother as persons of interest in the murder inquiry of a 10-year-old girl in a town in south-east England.

Surrey Police said they wanted to speak to Urfan Sharif, 41, Beinash Batool, 29, and Faisal Shahzad Malik, 28, as officers try to work out what happened to 10-year-old Sara Sharif. The trio are believed to have travelled to Islamabad on August 9 along with five other children aged between one and 13 years old.

The police discovered Sara Sharif’s body at a residential address in Woking, Surrey, on August 10 following a 999 emergency call, which was made by a man identifying himself as the girl’s father and was traced to Pakistan.

“While the post-mortem has not provided us with an established cause of death at this time, the fact that we now know that Sara had suffered multiple and extensive injuries over a sustained and extended period has significantly changed the nature of our investigation, and we have widened the timescale of the focus of our enquiry,” said Detective Superintendent Mark Chapman, from the Surrey Police and Sussex Police Major Crime Team.

“As a result, we are trying to piece together a picture of Sara’s lifestyle but we cannot do this without the public’s help. That is why we are appealing for anyone who knew Sara, had any form of contact with her, or has any other information about her, no matter how insignificant it might seem, to come forward as soon as possible,” he said.

Sara is believed to have lived with her father and stepmother, Batool, at the address where she was found murdered. The police said her own mother has been informed and continues to be supported by specially trained officers.

They said their enquiries into the “tragic death” remain ongoing to trace the suspects and are working with international agencies, including Interpol, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), to progress enquiries with the Pakistani authorities.

A post-mortem examination earlier his week failed to establish the cause of Sara’s death and further tests are being carried out. It, however, did reveal that Sara had suffered multiple and extensive injuries.

“In the meantime, I would like to reassure you that we are doing everything possible, including working with our partners and international agencies, to ensure that those responsible for Sara’s tragic and untimely death are brought to justice,” added Detective Superintendent Chapman.

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