Abducted girl returns home after 3 years

A 6-year-old girl who was abducted by her father and taken to Pakistan three years ago was reunited with her mother last night.

Abducted girl returns home after 3 years

Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson vanished in Nov 2009 after going to stay with her father, Razwan Ali Anjum.

The former insurance salesman said he was taking Atiya to Southport. Instead he took her to Lahore in Pakistan and told Atiya’s mother Gemma Wilkinson that she was “never going to see Atiya again”.

Gemma last night said she was “overwhelmed” during an emotional reunion with Atiya, who was located on Christmas Eve.

Ms Wilkinson broke down in tears as she described the moment she saw Atiya after more than three years apart. She said: “I am just absolutely overwhelmed at seeing Atiya now and giving her a cuddle and a massive kiss. I am just absolutely overwhelmed.

“We have gone from not knowing where Atiya is to finding out that we do know where Atiya is, to receiving pictures of Atiya and how she looks now, to Atiya coming here and Atiya actually being here. It’s just been an absolute whirlwind.”

Ms Wilkinson said she could not explain what it was like to see her daughter’s face again and see “what she is actually like”.

“It was very emotional. She is how I expected. She looks exactly the same as she did three years ago, she is just taller and a bit older.”

Ms Wilkinson said she did have a “few fears” that Atiya would be unsettled with the change and the flight but added: “She is absolutely fine. She is trying to communicate and she is playing with the things that we have bought for her. She’s settled.”

Describing the moment they met again, she said: “She had a big smile on her face. Atiya was told that I was mummy and she said ‘Mummy’ and smiled.

Anjum is serving a prison sentence in Britain for refusing to reveal his daughter’s whereabouts despite a court order.

But Atiya was located in Pakistan and arrived back in Britain last night.

Just last month Ms Wilkinson, aged 32, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, launched a fresh appeal for information on Atiya’s whereabouts.

Anjum was handed a fourth consecutive jail term by a High Court judge in April after he refused to reveal where his daughter was.

Mr Justice Moor imposed a 12-month prison sentence after he found him in contempt of a High Court order instructing him to disclose Atiya’s whereabouts.

He said Anjum, who is in his late 20s, would not be eligible for release until he had served at least six months.

Judges have previously imposed jail terms of two years, 12 months and another 12 months in the hope Anjum would provide information. They have re-jailed Anjum as each sentence neared its end.

Ms Wilkinson took legal action in an attempt to force Anjum to reveal the details.

Anjum, who represented himself at the latest court hearing, indicated that Atiya was in Pakistan or Iran but said he did not know her exact whereabouts.

Mr Justice Moor said he was sure that Anjum was lying.

The judge said: “I am certain that he is in contempt.

“It is absolutely absurd for him to suggest that he does not know the whereabouts of his daughter and he cannot contact her. I am certain he is lying.”

Another judge previously said the case was “as bad a case of child abduction as I have encountered”.

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