Pakistani police detain relatives of the man wanted in the death probe of his daughter in UK

LAHORE, Pakistan — Police in central Pakistan detained for interrogation close relatives of a couple wanted by U.K. police in connection with last month’s death of their 10-year-old daughter in the outskirts of London, an official said Saturday.

A police spokesman in Jehlum, 175 kilometers (108 miles) northwest of Lahore, said that Urfan Sharif and his wife Beinash Batool, the couple sought by U.K. police, were in hiding and 10 close relatives have been taken into custody for questioning and an investigation.

Among them was Mohammad Sharif, the father of Urfan, his brothers and cousins. Police spokesman Khan Mudassir said detaining close relatives might force the wanted person to surrender.

Pakistani police often detain close relatives of wanted suspects. Suspects' relatives are not kept in jail, however, to avoid any intervention by the court.

Last week Sharif appealed to his son and daughter in-law to surrender and help police in the investigation, after authorities widened their search for Urfan Sharif. He fled to Pakistan after his daughter, Sara Sharif, was found dead at their home in Woking, on the southwestern outskirts of London, on Aug. 10.

The London police believed the couple was hiding in Pakistan. The British police were also seeking the arrest of Urfan’s brother, Faisal Malik, as part of the investigation.

An autopsy of the girl didn’t establish a cause of death, but did show that she had suffered “multiple and extensive injuries, which are likely to have been caused over a sustained and extended period of time,” the police statement said.

Urfan Sharif traveled to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, with Batool and Malik on Aug. 9, according to local authorities. They traveled with five children, ranging in ages from 1 to 13, the U.K. police and local officials have said.

Local investigators have said police found evidence that Urfan briefly returned to Jhelum before going into hiding.


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