Urfan Sharif and Beinash Batool have been the subject of an international manhunt since fleeing the UK ahead of the discovery of Sara Sharif’s body at the family apartment in Woking, Surrey, earlier in August (Picture: AFP/PA)
A lawyer allegedly urged the father and stepmother of a young girl to flee the UK ahead of her body being found in the family’s home last month.
Malik Asif Taufique, the lawyer representing the family of deceased 10-year-old Sara Sharif in Pakistan, told The Mail on Sunday that her father Urfan Sharif, 41, and stepmother Beinash Batool, 29, spoke with another lawyer ahead of departing the UK on August 9.
The following day, police found Sarah’s body at the family home in Surrey after Mr Sharif contacted them from Pakistan.
Mr Taufique claims the lawyer with whom Mr Sharif and Ms Batool spoke before fleeing warned them they faced being unfairly treated because of their faith.
He said: ‘Urfan and Beinash ran from the UK because a British lawyer there made them terrified, saying they would have a harsh punishment in the UK and they would lose custody of their children.
‘They would be mistreated for being Muslims and a big scandal will be made against their faith.’
Surrey police are treating Sara Sharif’s death, which has sparked an international manhunt, as a possible murder. Her uncle has claimed she died as the result of falling down the stairs.
Though an official cause of death has yet to be confirmed, a post-mortem shows Sara suffered ‘multiple and extensive injuries’ over a ‘sustained and extended period of time’ (Picture: Surrey Police/AFP)
While an official cause of death has not yet been confirmed, a post-mortem examination suggests she suffered ‘multiple and extensive injuries’ over a ‘sustained and extended’ period of time.
Last week, police in Pakistan raided at least 20 homes across Jhelum, 108 north-west of Lahore, in search of members of the girl’s family.
Fugitive father Urfan Sharif claims his daughter died after slipping from the stairs (Picture: AFP)
Sara’s stepmother Beinash Batool recently said in a video statement that she and Mr Sharif were willing to cooperate with UK authorities (Picture: AFP)
Authorities subsequently confirmed they had made ten arrests, including Sara’s grandfather and several of her uncles.
It followed after Mr Sharif and his partner Ms Batool released a video, their first public statement on the case, in which they said they were willing to cooperate with UK authorities.
Sara’s mother and Mr Sharif’s former partner, Olga Sharif, responded to the clip by saying Sara’s father is ‘making himself into the victim’ and suggesting he turn himself in.
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