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Molly Campbell or Misbah Rana
A Muslim Scottish girl goes to Pakistan
Fiza Fatima Asar (FizaPK)     Print Article 
Published 2006-09-08 08:08 (KST)   
Recently, the news that has been baffling many British and Pakistanis around the world concerns a 12-year-old Scottish girl whose mother accuses her ex-husband of abducting their daughter from Scotland and taking her to Pakistan. She claimed that the father of the girl, named Molly, had the intention of forcing her into an arranged marriage in Pakistan.

Since then a battle over international custody has begun in the political and legal arenas. In a further shocking development of the news, the 12-year-old girl this past Sunday declared in front of the media at a news conference in Pakistan that she had left her mother of her own free will, and it was her preference to live with her father and her older sister in Pakistan.

Molly Campbell, also known as Misbah Iram Ahmed Rana (her Muslim name), said, "I love Scotland, but I love Islam more." In a further elaboration, Molly said "I am determined to be a Scottish Muslim of whom Scotland may be proud one day."

Lawyer Mohammad Basit says that Molly has signed a legal statement in which it clearly says that she has left her mother's home of her own free will and desires to live in Pakistan with her father. In a statement that he presented to the court it says, "I was not kidnapped. I have arrived in Pakistan to live with my father."

Louise Campbell reported her daughter missing on August 25, claiming that she was abducted from her home in Hebridean Island. During the news conference on Sunday, the father of the girl, Sajad Ahmed Rana, however, while sitting next to his daughters, accused Louise Campbell of forcing their daughter to drink alcohol and eat pork meat, both unlawful in Islam. On Sunday, Louise Campbell could not be reached for comment. The mother has been awarded time until Sept. 6 by the Lahore judge to arrive in Pakistan for a hearing. Until then the father has been awarded custody of Molly.

Molly, on the other hand, claimed on Sunday that her older sister, Tehmina, visited Scotland on August 24 and that she asked Tehmina, her 18-year old sister, to take her to Pakistan. Tahmina and Mollie flew together to Glasgow from where they caught a flight to Pakistan. According to Scottish police, the incident could be in violation of the Child Abduction Act.

According to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, upon the request of British authorities, the foreign ministry would investigate the case further. It is not clear if Louise Campbell has been approached with the 2003 protocol signed between British and Pakistani authorities which talks about returning abducted children to the country where they normally lived and then leaving it upon the court in that particular country to decide upon the custody. However, in this case, it can be argued that the child has not been abducted since she has made it clear that she left according to her free will. A further investigation into the case will bring to light the loopholes and problems in the case.

Molly describes her life with her mother as "living hell" and prefers to live with her father. British media has been making statements about the father of the girl forcing Molly into a marriage with an older man. The president of the National Association of British Pakistanis, Bashir Mann, has brushed the media reports aside as absolute bogus. Molly supported the statement by adding that her father had given her the choice to marry whoever she wants.

At one point Molly told the reporters "My name isn't Molly, it's Misbah." At another point she added, "Call me Molly if you like but not Molly Campbell."
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Fiza Fatima Asar

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