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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 08:27 GMT 09:27 UK
Court order in schoolgirl wrangle
MIsbah with her father in Pakistan
The schoolgirl said she wanted to stay with her father in Pakistan

A judge in Pakistan has granted an interim order in the case of a girl at the centre of a custody battle.

Misbah Rana, 12, who is also known as Molly Campbell, went missing from her home in Lewis in the Western Isles to stay with her father in Lahore.

Her father has sought to block any attempt to have her returned to the UK.

A judge granted the custody order until the end of September because Misbah's lawyer feared the police would try to repatriate her to the UK.

The 12-year-old, who said she wants to be known as Misbah, went missing from her mother Louise Campbell's home in the Hebridean island on 25 August.

She made it clear she had travelled voluntarily to Pakistan and that she wanted to remain there with her father, brothers and sister.

At the weekend temporary custody was granted to her father, Sajad Rana, by a Lahore court after the schoolgirl signed a statement saying she arrived in Pakistan under her own free will.

Judicial protocol

The custody case will continue on Friday.

There is a judicial agreement, signed in 2003, between the UK and Pakistan on how such custody disputes should be settled.

However, John Fotheringham, a specialist child and family lawyer in Edinburgh, told BBC Radio Scotland that this case may test the protocol.

He said: "What the protocol says is that it is the court of the child's habitual residence that shall decide where the child shall live rather than the country to which the child has been taken.

"The protocol does not have any statutory authority. It is a judicial protocol and this case may be the one that tests it."

Mr Fotheringham added: "There is no problem at all with the court in Pakistan having made a temporary order, which is analogous to an interdict, to stop the child being taken away over the next 48 hours."




SEE ALSO
Custody battle girl goes to court
02 Sep 06 |  Highlands and Islands
'Missing' girl wanted to leave UK
01 Sep 06 |  Highlands and Islands
MP offered a meeting with Molly
31 Aug 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Commission joins search for girl
30 Aug 06 |  Highlands and Islands
'This has come out of the blue'
29 Aug 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Mother's tearful 'abduction' plea
29 Aug 06 |  Highlands and Islands

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